WHEATFIELD | Defying the heat, Times No. 4 Kankakee Valley continued to sizzle on the pitch with a 2-0 win over visiting No. 9 Highland in a Northwest Crossroads Conference game on Tuesday.
The Trojans (2-4, 2-1 NCC) couldn’t contain K.V.’s Haleigh Wenglarz much past 40 minutes, as she struck at the 47:58 mark on a feed from Hannah Wilder to put the unbeaten Kougars (9-0, 3-0) up 1-0.
Wenglarz struck again 15 minutes later on an assist from Jessica Young near midfield.
Wenglarz broke down the defender on the dribble and beat goalkeeper Kelli Lee at the 62:50 mark.
“We knew coming in this would be a challenge, but we prepared ourselves to fight to the end of the game,” Wenglarz said.
She said the first goal got her team untracked.
“We came in here kind of flat, but that goal got us more energetic,” Wenglarz said.
“Every once in a while that stuff happens,” K.V. coach Alex Conklin said of the slow start. “Luckily, we kept it together. We had some chances the first half, and they just didn’t go (in).
“We talked about it at halftime and made some adjustments here and there. We came out and played much harder and a lot better the second half.”
Even with the potent offense, Conklin gives a lot of credit to his defenders.
“They’ve done an excellent job this year,” he said. “Alyssa Cox had a great game today, as did Sam Tokarz. Jessica Young, Abby Klemp, Abby Tinkel had excellent games in the back.”
Highland’s defense kept it in the game, but the Trojans just couldn’t generate much offense against a stingy Kougars backfield.
“I thought we played well,” Highland coach Gordon Walker said. “We defended well for the majority of the game. They’re a powerful team, that K.V.”
The Kougars are halfway through the NCC slate undefeated, and they hope to keep focused on the title.
“We want to win conference, and we just take it one step at a time,” Conklin said. “We just keep saying we’ve got several stages to the conference. It doesn’t all come down to one game.”