Bishop Kelly girls soccer team back in control

The Knights beat soccer rival Middleton 1-0on a second-half goal.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comOctober 2, 2013 

Bishop Kelly High went 70 consecutive games without a loss before a 1-1 tie to Middleton in September.

It was the first time since October 2009 that the Knights left the field with anything other than a victory, and it put an end to what had been the longest winning streak in the nation.

“We got teased a little bit at school, but we just kept going the way we were and took it as motivation to practice harder and play harder,” senior forward Mickie Piechowski said.

The Knights exacted a bit of revenge Tuesday night at Bishop Kelly, holding off Middleton 1-0 in the final 4A Southern Idaho Conference regular-season meeting between the two teams this year.

Piechowski scored the game-winner in the 51st minute on the rebound from a free kick by teammate Alyssa Stewart.

Fellow forward Maddie Minnaert contested Middleton goalkeeper Maddie Brown in front of the goal on Stewart’s ball, and when it fell to the ground, Piechowski punched it in.

“I think Maddie (Minnaert) definitely gets the credit for that goal,” Piechowski said. “I just made sure she got it. I just put it in the net.”

The victory means the Knights (11-0-1) take over sole possession of first place in the 4A SIC standings with four games remaining in the regular season.

It is a familiar spot for Bishop Kelly, which has won three straight 4A state championships and nine overall since 1986.

“In all honesty, I was actually hoping that we could lose a game so that we could get that sharpness back,” Bishop Kelly coach Curtis Eisenberger said. “The tie was good. It motivated us. It wasn’t a loss, and I think that those two things are both good.”

Tuesday’s victory wasn’t a sure thing for the Knights.

In the 72nd minute, Middleton coach Lisa Pennington moved Brown from goalkeeper to forward.

Brown — who is as good on the field as she is in goal — nearly tied the game in the 77th minute on a hard cross.

“That’s why we put her up there,” Pennington said. “You can lose a game one to zero, you can lose a game two to zero. Whatever the outcome is, you want to give yourself the best chance to win. We felt at the time that move was a good opportunity.”

Bishop Kelly freshman keeper Kylee Atkins made the save of her young career on Brown’s shot to seal the win for the Knights.

“I tipped it and then I turned around just to make sure it went around the end of the post,” Atkins said. “I was freaking out.”

The Knights and Vikings (9-1-3) could meet again in a few weeks when the 4A District Three Tournament gets underway. The first two rounds of games are played at the higher seeds, and the championship will be played at Emmett High. The district tournament runs Oct. 14-17.

The 4A state tournament is Oct. 24-26 at Brothers Park in Caldwell.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422; Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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