BEECHER | Illiana Christian proved Saturday that sometimes less is in fact more.
Junior Alex Clausing scored on a penalty kick late in the first half, and the Vikings defense held off a furious Beecher attack to take home a 1-0 win.
It was a somewhat surprising outcome after Illiana Christian (5-4) managed just three shots on goal. The Vikings received a big break when Beecher’s Bobbi Stanula was called for a peculiar foul in the box with just over 16 minutes remaining in the first half. The Bobcats senior defender collided with Clausing near the Beecher net, and was whistled for what was later explained as an elbow jab.
Clausing capitalized when she squirted a high kick into the right corner of the net past Sydney Schubert for what proved to be the game winner.
“Unfortunately, we got outplayed in every area of the game,” Illiana Christian coach AJ Turkstra said. “That Beecher team is tough, they play hard and they kept coming at us.”
“Alex getting that score was a big break for us, and being able to execute in that situation was the difference.”
Beecher (6-4-1) poured on the offense from start to finish, but couldn’t break through. All 21 Bobcats shots were either way off target or saved by Illiana freshman goalkeeper Mikinsey Pruim.
Beecher missed six consecutive shots over a six-minute span early in the first half, and came up short from point-blank range to tie the contest on three occasions in the final 40 minutes. With 21:58 remaining, Bobcats midfielder Hannah Grioux found Eve Stolzenbach open just a few feet from the Illiana goal, but Pruim made a diving save to preserve the Vikings lead.
Giroux came up short at the 8:30 mark when Pruim deflected her shot near the left corner. Giroux collected the rebound and fired again, but sent the kick sailing out of bounds.
Pruim made eight saves for Illiana Christian, and said that the continuous pressure from the Bobcats never broke her focus.
“I just played my game the way I know I can, and never really let (Beecher’s) shot total bother me,” Pruim said. “As a goalie, I know that these types of games are going to crop up where I have to stay on my toes for 80 minutes. I’m glad I was able to come through for the team.”
Beecher coach Dawn Compton was disappointed to see her squad come away with the tough loss after garnering so many opportunities.
“We do this to ourselves a lot, we shoot ourselves in the foot,” Compton said. “It gets at your confidence a bit when you play so well but fail to take advantage of the opportunities that you create for yourself.
“Hopefully we can learn from this and capitalize in the future.”