MUNSTER | With only six conference matches, every game in the Northwest Crossroads Conference is a big one.
That makes the goal Munster's Jessica Flores scored with just over 15 minutes remaining Tuesday even bigger.
The score gave the Times No. 8 Mustangs a 1-0 victory against visiting NCC rival Kankakee Valley.
"If we lost this game, we were out of conference for sure and we knew that," Flores said. "(Coach Valerie Pflum) said the first team to score will definitely win the game, so we were just trying to score before they could."
After a scoreless battle for the first three quarters of the match, Flores finally broke through with a Mustang goal at 64:47.
The sophomore forward took a cross from Kailee Loughlin and put a bend in her shot at the right bottom 90.
"It was just kind of lucky. It went through the keeper's hands," Flores said. "I was really just shooting on it and got helped out."
The Mustangs (3-1, 1-0) struggled to push the ball through the flat-four Kougar defense for the majority of the match.
"It was really frustrating. We couldn't really get balls through them," Flores said. "They had a solid wall. It was tough."
Plflum said breaking down that wall was the focus of her halftime strategy.
"He kept 10 behind the ball. It was a pain to get through," Pflum said. "It took however many minutes, but it worked finally."
Because so many were back, K.V. (1-2-1. 0-1) offered very little pressure from the midfield early, preferring to try to connect on long passes with its two forwards.
"We knew we were in for a fight tonight," Pflum said. "I was hoping the girls stepped up and they did."
Kougar goalie Hannah Klemp was in her first varsity start, a product of the injury bug that has struck K.V. Klemp finished with six saves.