CEDAR RAPIDS Washington goalkeeper Hannah Schroeder was the one obstacle between Kennedy and a blowout Tuesday. Schroeder made save after save to keep the Warriors close, but the Cougars prevailed 1-0.
"She was just amazing," Kennedy Coach Scott Myers said. "Absolutely amazing. She was the best player on the field."
Sophomore reserve Kasey Dekko scored the game's lone goal with 1 minute, 59 seconds left in the first half to give the Cougars (4-1, 2-1) the victory. Even that goal involved a rough-and-tumble smash-up with Schroeder and a different Cougar.
"I was just running up the field and a girl and the goalie just came out, and they piled up," Dekko said. "I just stuck my leg out. It was just kind of like everybody landed together at the same time and they all just fell over."
Schroeder stopped seven different shots that would have been goals, most of them one-on-one, do-or-die situations, and had another pile up with Kennedy all-stater Kaela Dickerman that took the Cougar out of the game with an ankle injury.
"She's really come up big for us," Washington Coach Chad Hollmer said. "She worked really hard in the off season. We shouldn't have to rely on her, but it's always nice to have her back there. She plays softball, so she has pretty good hands."
"It was really frustrating; we had a lot of opportunities, but their goalie was really good," Dekko said.
Myers took over for Coach Andrew McKnight, who drew two yellow cards against Linn-Mar and was ejected last Thursday night, thus removing him from this game. The Washington game was to be his last anyway as he was taking a job with the Iowa City Police department. Myers is a veteran coach who coaches the Coe College women's team and has coached in club, college and high school settings.
Kennedy sophomore Sydney Hayden said the team had worked on some different runs before this game, but otherwise the players were familiar with the coach and didn't expect a lot of changes.
"They're good kids and they work hard," Myers said. "I would be a fool if I did too many things (changes). But we did a couple different things. Every coach has their style. We'll change some stuff up, but it's probably things Andrew and I would have done anyway."
The Warriors (1-3,0-2) were in a defense-first mode. When they would get forward there was no support behind the two or three forwards. That made it nearly impossible to score.
"Kennedy's a great team but we have to defend first," Hollmer said. "It was a tough night for us but a good result in the end. We are obviously making progress."