MAIZE — The Maize girls soccer team can do one of two things to an opposing goalkeeper.
They can either make them dread the inevitable flurry of shots on goal or they can rise to the challenge.
Bishop Carroll's Keighton Allen rose to the challenge on Monday, but it still wasn't enough.
"I was so excited for this game," Allen said. "I've been praying for a game lately that will really challenge us. I knew I was going to be pretty busy in this game."
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Maize certainly lived up to expectations, dominating control of the ball and finally punching in a corner kick for a 1-0 victory. But so did Allen, who turned away 13 Maize shots.
"She's so tall and athletic," Maize coach Jay Holmes said. "She's getting horizontal faster than I think any keeper that I've seen this year."
That agility between the posts helped deflect several shots and see away three shots that hit the posts, the last of which was rocketed by Maize senior Blair Terry but tipped away by Allen for a corner kick with 23 minutes, 36 seconds left in the second half.
"It got my adrenaline rushing," Terry said. "It definitely got me going for that corner kick."
After showcasing her leg power, Terry showed perfect touch by lofting the corner kick in the middle of the box and connecting with freshman Madison Holmes' foot for the game's only goal with 23:06 remaining.
"My sister (Miranda) was in front of me and I thought she was going to head it in, but I guess not," Holmes said laughing.
Jay Holmes isn't too sure the same outcome would have occurred earlier in the season when Maize was still maturing.
"I feel like in the beginning of the year we were really pressuring to score," he said. "The girls would lose their composure. But they've gained some confidence now and they know to continue to knock the ball around."
Maize was able to keep the ball in Carroll's territory routinely, but getting past sweeper Teresa Offerman proved more challenging. After a scoreless first half, coach John Barber moved back another defender in hopes of a tie.
Both teams are 9-2-1 on the season.
"But their transition beat our transition and unfortunately it came down to that corner and they popped it in," Barber said. "But our defense was outstanding."
Bishop Carroll (9-2-1) 0 0 — 0 Maize (9-2-1) 0 1 — 1
Second half—Maize, Ma. Holmes (Terry). Shots— Carroll 1-2—3; Maize 8-8—16. Saves— Carroll, Allen 6-7—13; Maize, Black 1-1—2