Offense comes alive for Wildcats on the pitchAugust 29, 2019
By TRAVIS DAVID
PRINCETON — Thanks large in part to Kara Krueger, the Jasper offense broke out of a season-long slump Thursday evening.
Krueger eclipsed the Lady Wildcats season total of goals scored by finding the back of the net five times in a 9-1 win over Big Eight Conference foe Princeton.
The Lady Wildcats had only scored four goals in their first four matches of the season (0-3-1) entering the matchup.
Krueger deferred the credit to her teammates.
“It’s cool to score that many because I love scoring, but I really have to give it to my teammates,” the junior striker said. “Teammates like Regan Mundy and all my midfielders...they were the ones who gave me the opportunity to get the shots that I did.”
Mundy opened the scoring for the Lady Wildcats as she went top shelf from just inside the 18 less than five minutes into the match.
“I think getting that first goal made the girls play more relaxed,” Jasper coach Michael Donato said. “We have came out really weak in the last few games, not really focused, but getting an early goal got us going...we got the ball moving the way we needed to and they were focused.”
Krueger made it 2-0 when she took a pass from Mundy from 12 yards out and drilled it past the Princeton keeper in the 12 minute of the half.
Six minutes later Kruger struck again, this time on a feed from Brooke Nottingham for a 3-0 lead.
Ella Hubster made it 4-0 as she booted one past the goalie from the right side of the 18 on a cross from Isabelle Blazey in the 22 minute of the half.
“We were just really connecting well on our passes tonight,” Krueger said. “That is something we were not doing in the first few matches. I think we were trying to play too much by ourselves, but tonight we played well as a team and it showed.”
Princeton got on the board with 90 seconds left in the first half when Gracy Key surprised the Jasper keeper with a boot from a few yards inside the midfield circle.
After both teams played evenly through the first 16-plus minutes of the second half, Krueger recorded her third goal of the match for a 5-1 lead.
Two minutes later, Nottingham dribbled down the right side of the field on a partial breakaway and caught the Princeton keeper out of position as she snuck a ball through the left edge.
Krueger made it 7-1 as she tapped in her fourth goal on a rebound from a shot by Mundy.
Her fifth and final goal came in the 25 minute of the half when she dribbled through the middle of the Princeton defense before connecting from inside the box.
Aliyah Schwenk capped the scoring with a goal from just outside the 18.
“We talked at halftime about not getting complacent,” Donato said. “I think we got that way at the end of the first half. We slowed down a little bit and got sloppy with the ball at our feet. But it was good to see the girls take it back over there in the second half...we wanted to treat the second half like it was 0-0 and the girls did what they needed to do.”
Picking up the first win of the season made Krueger’s hat trick, plus two, even more special.
“The win feels amazing...I love to win too,” she said.
It was just what the team needed, according to the Lady Wildcats head coach.
“We play a pretty tough schedule in the beginning which is easy for them to get down, so I am very happy for the girls, we needed this one,” Donato said.
Jasper (1-3-1, 1-0) plays host to Evansville Christian on Saturday.
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