Cougars kick it in late

Hannah Palomo jumps into the arms of teammate Katherine Lewis after scoring one of her two second-half goals in Cedar Rapids Kennedy's 4-1 win over Cedar Rapids Washington in a Class 2A girls' regional soccer match Monday at Kennedy. (Photo by Chris Macklin)

Hannah Palomo jumps into the arms of teammate Katherine Lewis after scoring one of her two second-half goals in Cedar Rapids Kennedy's 4-1 win over Cedar Rapids Washington in a Class 2A girls' regional soccer match Monday at Kennedy. (Photo by Chris Macklin)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Domination on the field was immediate.

Domination on the scoreboard, that took a while.

Forced to a halftime deadlock, top-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy pulled away in the second half and defeated No. 6 Cedar Rapids Washington, 4-1, in a Class 2A girls’ soccer regional final Monday night at Kennedy High School.

“It was kind of frustrating in the first half,” said Kennedy’s Katherine Lewis. “We had a lot of opportunities, but we couldn’t finish. Washington gave us a good fight. We knew we had to finish our opportunities, and that’s what we did in the second half.”

The state runner-up three consecutive years, Kennedy (17-0) returns to Muscatine on Thursday, when it will face Sioux City North (13-4) at 5 p.m.

North edged previously unbeaten Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 3-2.

Cedar Rapids Washington's Bailey Lane (left) tries to protect the ball against Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Shauna Happel. (Photo by Chris Macklin)

Cedar Rapids Washington's Bailey Lane (left) tries to protect the ball against Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Shauna Happel. (Photo by Chris Macklin)

Kennedy outshot Washington (15-3) by a 24-4 margin — 12-2 in each half — but the Cougars didn’t take the lead for good until Jennifer Martin’s corner kick bounced around, and ultimately reached the goal early in the second half. It was the second goal of the season for Martin, a defensive-minded midfielder.

“It was all luck,” Martin said. “It wasn’t even supposed to go right to the keeper.

“We were definitely happy to be dominating the game, but we weren’t content with the score. We never lost our cool. We kept calm and collected.”

Freshman Hannah Palomo netted two goals in a 5-minute span midway through the second half to complete the scoring.

The final 15 minutes was a countdown to another voyage to Muscatine. The Cougars accepted the regional-championship banner, then donned gold state-qualification T-shirts.

“I’m excited for the girls,” said Kennedy Coach Homer Screws. “They’re hard-working kids. They have talent, and they have the work ethic to back it up.”

Kennedy took the lead on its first shot of the game, by Lauren Hanzelka with less than 4 minutes elapsed. Alex Blanchard answered for Washington with 30:50 left in the half.

It remained 1-1 until Kennedy controlled the second half.

“They have a lot of quality. My hat’s off to them,” said Washington Coach Kerry Brimmo. “Physically, they’re a lot better. They were quicker to the ball than us.”

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2 Responses to “Cougars kick it in late”

  1. CR soccer mom Says:

    Congrats to the KHS Cougars. Wash came to play tonight, but just couldn’t keep up with the unrelenting attack of Kennedy — 24 shots on goal — a pretty intense offensive effort — too many offensive players for Wash to contain. With Valley losing tonight, the Cougs don’t get Rematch IV — my bet is on Johnston to be in the finals with Kennedy with the Cougs bringing home the win, finally. Hats off to Homer Screws for pulling this very talented group of girls into a very talented team. Kennedy is ranked number 6 in the ESPN Rise poll – will a win at State push them higher??

  2. Cougars kick it in late | IowaPrepSports.com Says:

    […] Read full article […]

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