Janesville Craig shuns conditions to down Parker
In addition to their cross-town rivals, the Cougars also would have to battle the stiff, bone-chilling wind they had at their backs while building a 2-0 lead in the first 40 minutes.
“We knew for sure they’d come at us, and then the wind picked up and was even more of an advantage,” McCabe, said. “But we knew if we played control soccer—played the ball to feet—it would pay off for us.”
After the Cougars steered away several Viking scoring opportunities, Craig High junior Chelsea Sheedy left-footed a low-profile cross from about 35 yards out to Parker sophomore goaltender Brianna Washington’s right. The cross, held up by the wind, didn’t reach the keeper. But Craig senior Kelsey Kennedy, a tenacious midfielder, corralled Parker’s clearing attempt and toed home the goal that gave the Cougars a 3-0 lead with just 13 minutes to play.
Sheedy didn’t factor into the goal on the score sheet, but she did on both of the Cougars’ first-half goals.
Just five minutes into play, freshman forward Kristi Crandall pulled the ball out of traffic in the penalty box and played a pass out to the box’s edge. That’s where Sheedy made a nice first touch, dribbled to her left and lofted a shot over Washington and inside the far post.
“I saw the open net on the right side, so I figured I’d just go for it,” Sheedy said. “We just needed to get the momentum on our side. We came out really strong and our movement off the ball was phenomenal.”
Sheedy picked up an assist when she twisted a shot short of the near post from the left side. Washington came out and tried to smother the short-hop, but when the rebound popped free, sophomore Sarah Gray poked it past the scrambling keeper to give her Cougars a 2-0 lead at the 19:13 mark of the first half.
Parker’s first shot on goal—Craig won the overall count 11-3—finally came in the fourth minute of the second half when Brianna Michios beat Kennedy one-on-one and ripped a 25-foot shot that keeper Amanda Hamilton handled with ease.
“We still need to pull the trigger earlier, but I feel we played the best as a team that we have all season,” Parker coach Amy Wargowsky said. “Parker-Craig does that.”
Parker continued to manufacture chances, but a scramble in the 66th minute failed to produce a score.
“I was just hoping somebody could get a foot on it,” Wargowsky said.
Kennedy quelled the momentum with the final goal just a minute later.
“Parker was really pressuring us, and they showed what great speed they have up front,” McCabe said.
Coming up next for Craig is Saturday’s 11 a.m. home kickoff with Kenosha Tremper, a “Go Pink” match. One of the newest members of the Packers Hall of Fame, running back Dorsey Levens, will be on hand.
CRAIG 3, PARKER 0
Janesville Craig 2 1—3
Janesville Parker 0 0—0
JC—Chelsea Sheedy (Kristi Crandall), 5:00. JC—Sarah Gray (Sheedy), 19:13.
JC—Kelsey Kennedy, 67:00.