Caroline Kastor and Taylor Kruse spearheaded an attack that seemed to last for the majority of Kapaun's 4-0 win over Bishop Carroll Saturday afternoon at Wilkins Field at Newman .
The two forwards, along with teammate Victoria Schimming, kept the pressure on Carroll's physical defenders and maneuvered the ball so fluently that their chemistry could not be overlooked.
"We play year-round together. Plus I think we have the same kind of vision," Kastor said. "She knows what I want to do, and I know what she wants to do. Our team in general is pretty close. It helps on the field to have that kind of connection."
The two connected for the team's first goal at the 33:23 mark in the second half when Kruse found Kastor on a cross. Kastor took the pass and headed it past the Eagles' Keighton Allen for the score.
Kruse kicked in a goal of her own with 17 minutes left thanks to a nice assist from Schimming to give Kapaun (5-1) a 2-0 lead. With the game well in hand, Schimming and Kastor both added unassisted goals in the final seven minutes to pad the lead and deal Carroll (6-1) its first loss.
Kapaun coach Alan Shepherd told his team at the half to control the tempo and push the point of attack. Kruse said that strategy worked.
"We absolutely had to be aggressive, because that's what was going to win the game at the end," Kruse said. "Both teams were pretty even in skill, so the aggressiveness of either team was going to be the deciding factor."
The Crusaders had 11 shots on goal compared to the Eagles' five.
"The thing we talked about at halftime was to keep working and there's a chance its going to go in, and that's what they did," Shepherd said. "They were pretty opportunistic around the goal, because that's a good goalkeeper that they have, too. We put a little pressure on their keeper and we were fortunate enough to score."
Mallory Walden's shot with 34:20 left in the game just missed its target and was also Carroll's first shot on goal in the game. That seemed to spark a pattern of aggression for the Eagles, who recorded five more attempts within the next 13 minutes.
However, Kapaun's defense, led by Ashley Howell and Emily Elving, responded by putting up the same effort it exerted in the first half and prevented any further shots.
"We have good communication in the back, and we always play tough," Howell said. "So that's usually how we get the ball back. When one of us steps forward, the other one drops back. That works well when a girl gets by one of us, the other person is ready to clear it out."
Kapaun0 4 — 4 Carroll0 0 — 0
Second half—Kastor (Kruse), Kruse (Schimming), Schimming (unassisted), Kastor (unassisted). Shots— Kapaun 5-6—11; Carroll 0-6—6. Saves— Kapaun, Lujano 0-0—0; Carroll, Allen 5-2—7.