WHEATFIELD | In a battle of two Times Top 10 teams, host Kankakee Valley knocked off Munster 4-1 Tuesday in the Northwest Crossroads Conference opener for both teams.
The Times No. 5 Kougars got three first-half goals, two by senior midfielder Natalie Lotz, and held off the No. 3 Mustangs after the break.
"It gave us a lot of confidence," Lotz said of the three early goals.
Lotz scored her first goal off a corner kick by Haley Cox to put the hosts up 1-0 at the 10:51 mark of the first half.
The Kougars (4-0, 1-0) went up 2-0 when Cox rocketed a free kick from 30 yards out over the head of Mustangs goalkeeper Melanie Krueger. The kick was set up by a foul on Munster.
K.V. continued getting the ball in deep in the first half. Kara Gouwens headed a pass to a streaking Hannah Wilder, who got by the defender and beat Krueger to put the Kougars up 3-0 at the 37:09 mark of the first half.
As good as K.V.’s offense played, the defense was equally as solid, led by Alyssa Cox, Abby Tinkel and Sam Tokarz. The defenders kept Munster from getting too many real good looks at the net.
Goalkeeper Mackenzie DeMars stopped a penalty shot at the 61:05 mark to keep it a 3-0 game.
"It was a team effort, not just one person," Wilder said.
Munster (1-1-2) finally got on board at the 67:08 mark when Rachel Kalbfell's header found the left corner of the net. The goal came off an assist by Alyssa Wojcik on a free kick.
"It's OK," Munster coach Valerie Pflum said. "You come off a tough weekend, and we did the best we could. We just didn't have it tonight.
"We made some critical mistakes early, and that resulted in goals."
Wilder put the game away with her second goal of the night at the 77:42 mark to put the Kougars up 4-1.
"We're real happy," Lotz said. "We're 4-0, and we're hoping we can get very far, maybe even the semistate."