By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Todd Hesselbart got a postseason win from the Concord High School girls soccer team for his 40th birthday on Tuesday.
Concord netted two first-half goals on the way to a 3-0 win over Elkhart Memorial in the Class 2A sectional at Memorial.
The score during the regular season a 3-2 Concord win.
“We possessed the ball better this time,” the coach said. “We didn’t give Memorial a lot of chances to get shots off. We were on the girls about possessing the ball. There were times we were losing the ball in simple situations.”
“The ball took some weird bounces on us and there were a few calls that were not made,” Memorial coach Don Knowlton said. “We had a few chances to take some shots early on that we couldn’t pull the trigger on. We have got to try harder to get shots off.”
The sectional resumes on Thursday with Goshen and Central squaring off at 5 p.m., followed by Northridge and Concord around 7. The championship is Saturday at 2 p.m.
Concord got its first goal when junior midfielder Megan Diver’s corner kick found the net at 23:20 of the opening half.
“It was unlucky for the Memorial goalie that it went in,” Hesselbart said. “But it happens some times.”
Concord took a 2-0 lead when senior midfielder Taylor Lantz’s shot found the net with an assist from freshman forward Brenda Tellez.
“At times we showed the right amount of intensity, but we have got to learn to play intense no matter what the score is,” Hesselbart said. “ We have got to keep the intensity up for the whole game. I’m never comfortable until the score is 5-0. Anything can happen in soccer.
“Taylor did a really nice job attacking from midfield and Brenda played a really good game. Taylor is the leader of our pack.”
Concord’s final goal came with just 4:38 left to play. Sophomore midfielder Emma Paden was credited with the goal and junior midfielder Madison Miller the assist.
Concord had advantages of 14-3 in shots on goal and 8-1 in corner kicks. Senior Jenny Miller made three keeper saves for Concord before being relieved by junior Kiley Harmon about mid-way through the second half. Sophomore Kennedy Knowlton made 11 saves for Memorial.
“We had a lot of opportunities, but Memorial’s keeper did a really nice job,” Hesselbart said. “We were right in her face a number of times.”
Kennedy Knowlton is the daughter of the Memorial coach.
“She stopped a lot of shots on frame,” coach Knowlton said. “She is only going to get better. It takes time to develop a goalie.”
Memorial plays a lot of youngsters despite having eight seniors on the sectional roster.
“We have some talent in the younger kids. We we need to develop is some depth,” coach Knowlton said.
“On Senior Night we played South Bend Trinity. We played the seniors a lot and we won 5-3 but three of the goals were scored by freshmen and two by sophomores.”