It’s not every game you score on a corner kick.
So Bishop Carroll senior Erin Akin broke out a jumping heel click celebration after her dangerous cross on a corner in the 31st minute morphed into a lethal, upper-90 goal that banked off the backpost and into goal to provide the winner in Carroll’s 2-0 victory over East on Saturday afternoon. Hanleigh Allen netted her 14th goal of the season as insurance in the second half and Carroll improved to 7-0 and remained in front of the City League race.
“That’s one of those once-in-every-so-often king of things,” Akin said. “So when it does happen, it’s pretty satisfying.”
Nearly 30 mph wind gusts made it nearly impossible to play a possession game, which limited each team’s opportunities. The game saw only nine shots on target with eight coming from Carroll, although only a handful of them truly significant.
“We had to fight through the wind and it was a struggle for both teams,” Carroll coach Greg Rauch said. “It wasn’t going to be aesthetically pleasing. You were seeing a lot of big clearance balls and balls floating in the air. It was just who wanted to go dig out the ball more often and to our credit, I thought we were able to win a few more balls than East did.”
Carroll had the better possession and better chances, but East had a handful of dangerous moments that made Carroll’s fifth straight shutout nerve-wracking. East was coming off a stunning 2-1 victory over Kapaun, which leaves the Blue Aces the potential for a three-way share of the league title if Kapaun beats Carroll and the three teams win out.
East coach Dylan Gruntzel felt like it was a fairly even game minus Akin’s jaw-dropping goal and East’s lone mistake — allowing Allen to pick the last defender at midfield and dribble in for a breakaway goal. Saturday’s loss was the second to Carroll this season and remains the only two blemishes on East’s 4-2 record.
“I thought we played well overall, but at the end of the day they put away their opportunities and we didn’t,” Gruntzel said. “We played better this time around, but it just seemed like we were a little off. We were a step slow or a pass away and we just couldn’t put our chances in the back of the net.”
Akin’s goal was the standout on a day where winds prevented the two teams from topping it.
“Erin can strike the ball with the best of anybody,” Rauch said. “To have her put that ball in, it’s a celebration, right? I mean she put it backpost and there was nothing the keeper could do with that. We’ll take it, especially in a tight game like this.”
Bishop Carroll (7-0, 2-0)
East (4-2, 1-1)
First half: 1. Carroll, Akin. Second half: 2. Carroll, Allen. Shots: Carroll 8, East 1. Saves: Carroll, McCorry 1; East, Cordes 6.