HAMPSHIRE – Twelve minutes into the second half of Tuesday's Class 2A Hampshire Sectional semifinal, DeKalb’s Morgan Beaty had two golden opportunities to score.
On the first, the senior striker collected ball at the top of the box and fired a shot right at Rosary goalkeeper Lauren Frasca.
Luckily for Beaty, she made her second chance count. Thirty second later, Beaty scored on a shot from the right side of the box that went across goal and that proved to be the difference in the Barbs' 1-0 over Rosary on Tuesday night. Maddie Krmenec assisted on the Beaty goal.
Beaty now has all four of DeKalb's postseason goals.
“I was just getting in my head essentially, which you can’t do at the top of the box,” Beaty said. “You need to get over the ball and finish, instead of just shoot. It was what came of the opportunity that finished."
DeKalb (14-3-4) will play Rockford Boylan Friday at 6 p.m. for the Hampshire Sectional championship.
Barbs coach Phil Rouse said that his team did just well enough to win.
“If you get the ball at the right person’s foot, eventually it was going to find a way to (Beaty’s) foot, and she was going to get those opportunities,” Rouse said. “They did a good job sucking in one or two defenders towards her. We moved her around on the pitch and that opened up space for her.”
In the first half, the Barbs and Royals (10-12-1) fought through a midfield battle. There were a total of seven shots in the half and two shots on target for the two teams combined. Things finally started to pen up in the second half.
Five minutes into the second, Rosary’s Maria Witte tried to catch Maddie Frye napping with a quick free kick but Frye was equal to the task. After the Beaty goal, DeKalb's Alexis Hammond was in on goal but Frasca stopped her shot.
The Royals had a late deep free kick with under a minute remaining, but couldn't convert. The defense held strong throughout and the Barbs recorded another clean sheet. Stopper Kayla Perkins had a nice game breaking up plays in the midfield.
“The stopper starts your defense and that is the front line of the defense,” Rouse said. “There wasn’t enough dangerous balls that they could do much with, so I thought it was a great job by the whole team defending, but Kayla Perkins was an animal in there in the second half. And there was nothing that was going to get by her.”
The backline made dangerous clearance after dangerous clearance to keep the Royals as bay. Frye made three saves in the shutout victory.
“Obviously, they are playing not to end their season, just like we are. So we knew that they would be tough competition and ready to play,” Beaty said. “We knew we had to come to every 50-50 ball and we had to come harder.”