High school girls soccer: Cougars beat Vikings in 2 OT
JANESVILLE—It took them more than 90 minutes Thursday night, but Medina Konjuhi and Janesville Craig earned city bragging rights by beating Parker 2-1 in a Big Eight Conference girls soccer match.
Savannah Goicoechea set up the game-winner, sending a set piece in from the right wing after a foul committed by Parker's Morgan Burner.
The ball ricocheted off a number of players on the right side of the 6-yard box before Konjuhi poked it home beyond sprawling Parker goalkeeper Becky Harmata.
The game deserved overtime.
After lopsided defeats earlier in the week, both the Cougars (3-12, 2-7) and the Vikings (4-15, 1-8) figured they had a chance to win.
Craig controlled the run of play in the first half, but that was by design for Parker.
“We wanted to settle in defensively and get Sam Champion under control,” Parker coach Steve Strieker said.
Despite the defensive focus early in the game, the Vikings spurned one of the best scoring chances of the entire game in the sixth minute. Tania Ramos dashed down the middle field before sending her shot wide left of Maddie Schroeder's goal.
“The game may have been a little different if we had gotten that first score. We've had trouble all season getting that first goal in games,” Strieker said.
Craig also had a pair of sterling chances in the first half, including a free kick in the 16th minute that Jessica Martin sent over the crossbar.
The other came on a cross from the right from Champion. Her ball hit the far post and bounced into Harmata's back in the mouth of the goal. Fortunately for Harmata, the ball died in front of the goal line and she covered it with no harm done.
Champion finally broke through the Viking defense in the second half to open the scoring. She squeezed through a pair of Parker defenders from the left wing and slotted her shot into the lower right corner in the 63rd minute.
“We want her to be that pesky player that runs at the ball and makes it difficult for the person on the ball and force a turnover,” Craig coach Bill McCabe said of Champion.
Parker's Miranda Hopkins had a chance to tie the game from the penalty spot after a Craig foul inside its own goalie box. She put the shot over the crossbar from 12 yards away. Less than a minute later, though, Hopkins had another chance.
Two Vikings found themselves on a breakaway. Schroeder saved the first attempt, but Hopkins controlled the rebound and put it in to tie the game with 4:07 left in regulation.
The Cougars had another chance on a free kick from the top of the box in the first sudden-death overtime, but Goicoechea sent that one over the crossbar, as well.
In the second overtime, Parker had a set of four corner kicks in a row but couldn't connect on any to end the game.
Craig finally got the ball clear to set up Goicoechea and Konjuhi's heroics in a game in which both teams fought to the final whistle.
“I think if we play this team 10 times, we probably beat each other five each,” Strieker said.
CRAIG 2, PARKER 1, 2 OT
Janesville Parker 0 1 0 0—1
Janesville Craig 0 1 0 1—2
JC—Sam Champion, 63. JP—Miranda Hopkins, 76.
JC—Medina Konjuhi (Savannah Goicoechea), 95.
Saves—Maddie Schroeder (JC) 5, Becky Harmata (JP) 6.
Shots—Parker 9, Craig 17. Shots on goal—Parker 5, Craig 9. Fouls—Parker 9, Craig 13. Yellow cards—Parker 3, Craig 1. Corner kicks—Parker 5, Craig 1. Offsides—Parker 4, Craig 1