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SOUTH BEND — Under rainy conditions, it appeared one goal was all it was going to take.

Holding a decisive possession advantage throughout, Munster's ball control finally paid off as Adeline Andello's rebound goal propelled the Mustangs to a 1-0 win over Chesterton in Saturday's Class 3A South Bend Adams Regional semifinal at Tallman-Beyrer Field.

"We've done a nice job of controlling passes for a good chunk of the season," Munster coach Valerie Pflum said. "It was a struggle (Saturday) because we weren't taking that last step of shooting. We doubled our shots in the second half and finally got the one we needed. We were hoping it was a matter of time before we scored, but we had to shoot to do it."

Munster was scheduled to play Penn for the regional championship Saturday, but heavy rain forced the match to be moved to 6 p.m. Monday.

Munster (14-3-2) held about an 80-20 advantage in possession in the first half but were only able to put four shots on net, with Andello's free kick going wide of back post being its best chance.

Chesterton garnered the early chances in the first few minutes of the second half, but Munster keeper Grace Helmer was able to turn away shots from Sydney Stott and Olivia Hansen.

Helmer made six saves to earn the clean sheet.

"We did a nice job defensively and a nice job of marking who we needed to," Pflum said. "We have two freshmen on the back line so you never know what you're going to get, but that back line has been solid all season and that's more than you can ever ask for."

Jaycee Helmer's free kick in the 44th minute was saved in the center of the box by Trojans keeper Molly McLaughlin. Andello's shot minutes later was also stopped, but the Mustangs continued to surge.

"(Chesterton) held the defensive midfield, so we had a gap and had to pass," Pflum said. "We were playing long balls early in the second half and we kept losing it. Once we calmed down and started passing again, then we were able to press forward."

With a wet field came slick conditions for the keepers, evidenced by McLaughlin in the 55th minute who lost her footing and was on the ground, leaving an opportunity for Munster. Fortunately for the Trojans, Courtney Krol was able to clear the shot heading toward the back post.

In the 73rd minute, it was Andello who finally broke the deadlock with a rebound goal off a McLaughlin save following the initial cross in from Juli Nelson.

"Our possession was good in the first half, but we needed a goal. We had to try and step up and move it up the field to get more shots" Andello said. "We moved off the back of their defense and didn't stay so far back. That made our attack work."

The Kingsmen (20-0-1) were the 2016 Class 2A state champions and the runners-up in 2015. They beat the Mustangs 2-0 back on Aug. 26 and have only allowed two goals all season. 

"We're going to have to play a perfect game," Pflum said. "We're going to have to have a lot of energy and we have to go to the ball. Penn has some amazing players, is very disciplined and they pass well. When we play Penn, we elevate our game, too and that makes for a very nice game.

"We'll need to shoot more because we didn't the first time. If we can figure out a way to score, we're in the game."

Chesterton (16-4) was blanked for the first time since Aug. 19 against Penn.

"We knew that Munster is good team and they defend well," Trojans coach Jason Conway said. "The hope was to play the game we've been playing all year and not try to do anything different. Defensively, we knew there were a couple girls we wanted to mark. Ultimately, wanted to have our style dictate the way the game went.

"We've scored a lot of goals this year, but they've been in spurts. Sometimes the goals come, sometimes they don't and (Saturday) was one of those days where they didn't. We had opportunities and just didn't necessarily get a good foot on the ball."

Molly McLaughlin had 12 saves to lead the Trojans.

"She's a really smart goalie and I totally trust her in net," Conway said. "She wasn't the main reason that goal was scored, a lot of stuff happened in front of her. We let the ball get in deep to Andello and we can't do that."

The keeper is part of a group of 13 seniors that Chesterton will look to replace.

"The girls set out goals to win the (Duneland Athletic Conference) and sectionals and they did both of those," Conway said. "These girls are a fantastic group and had a lot of success on the field. I think more of that success came off the field though, in terms of building relationships and teaching each other how to treat one another.

"They created a good, positive culture in our program and that's always one of the most important things we talk about. This group of girls, more than any other group, has really taken that in and made that be what they wanted to be a part of their legacy."


Sports Reporter

CJ grew up shadowing his father, Jim, at various prep events and now follows in his footsteps as a sports reporter at The Times. A Purdue University graduate, his allegiances lie with the Boilermakers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds.