CROWN POINT — Munster's girls soccer team couldn’t have scripted a better end to the season after winning just one of its first five games.
The Times No. 4 Mustangs defeated the No. 2 Crown Point 2-0 in Crown Point on Thursday to put an exclamation point on a streak of 10 consecutive games without a loss. The final eight of those were victories for a Mustangs team that’ll head into sectional as one of the hottest teams in the state.
“We said to everyone before the game that we’ve got to end the year strong to get something going for the postseason,” Munster senior Jaycee Helmer said. “I think we did exactly that.”
Helmer drew first blood just nine minutes into the game off a free kick that served almost like a shortened corner try.
The veteran curved in a bending kick from just outside the box that floated up and over a lunging effort by Crown Point senior goalkeeper Grace Lynch. The shot was somewhere between a cross and a shot on goal that Helmer said she was glad to finish, regardless of what it looked like.
“I was actually aiming for the goal that time even though it was almost a cross,” she said. “I’ve got to admit, sometimes I just go up and kick it, but that time I did exactly what I wanted.”
Helmer’s score proved to be all Munster (10-3-2) needed. Crown Point (10-4) earned plenty of scoring opportunities but struggled to find the final connection in the scoring third when the Bulldogs needed it most.
A 55th-minute penalty kick score from Mustangs junior Adeline Andello proved to be insurance in what was otherwise an evenly dominated defensive match. Crown Point coach Chris Mikrut said that while he wasn’t pleased with the result that he couldn’t fault his team’s effort against a strong Munster program.
“I thought we had some really great possession and some good opportunities but just didn’t finish,” Mikrut said. “We didn’t give up many opportunities, either. You get a dead ball and a free kick. Those games are going to happen.”
Neither Munster nor Crown Point will have much time to rest on the results of the regular season.
The Mustangs are set to play E.C. Central in the sectional Tuesday while the Bulldogs await a Thursday match against Lake Central.
“There are times this year where we’ve played really well and times this year we’re a blob,” Munster coach Valerie Pflum said. “While we’re going in the right direction, there’s still some work we need to do if we want to make a postseason run. Now it’s win or go home.”
Mikrut shared similar thoughts.
“It’s a new season now,” he said, “for everybody.”