Published: March 21, 2014
With one swing of her right foot, Kaity Vogel helped her Manitou Springs girls' soccer team experience a new feeling.
Beating St. Mary's.
The sophomore's penalty-kick goal with 19:56 left broke a scoreless stalemate, and freshman Monique Heiniger made it stand by making six saves as the Mustangs defended their home field by holding off the Pirates 1-0 Friday.
The victory broke a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) dating back to the 2009 season, well before any of the five Manitou Springs seniors had entered the program.
"We've been on the other side so many times," senior midfielder Riley Witham said. "We wanted this so bad. We've been waiting for this moment, to go into spring break with this win."
Just past the midway mark of the second half, Manitou Springs freshman midfielder Riley Snyder was pushed away from a loose ball by Pirates' midfielder Rachel Craft in the box, giving the Mustangs a penalty kick.
Vogel, the team's designated player to take penalty kicks, labeled a shot to the top left corner that beat St. Mary's goalkeeper Tess Thomas.
"I always go left corner," Vogel said. "We hadn't had this in my years here. I think we finally worked together and got it together. It feels amazing."
Mustangs second-year coach Mike Fox had no hesitation in choosing Vogel.
"Kaity takes our PKs," Fox said. "Anyone can take it, but we choose her. That was her third one of the season, and she's 3 for 3. She's done well with them."
Manitou Springs (3-2), which absorbed a 6-0 loss at Holy Family on Wednesday, relied on a swarming defense and timely saves by Heiniger to keep the Pirates (2-1) off the scoreboard.
With 10:30 left, Heiniger stopped St. Mary's senior forward Emily Loof with a kick save. Three minutes later, Loof created space at the top of the box with a nice spin move to her right, but missed the right post by inches.
Heiniger made five of her saves in a first half that saw the Pirates hold an edge in quality chances, a trend that changed later with an energized Manitou defense.
"I think we were just more aggressive, and we wanted it more than they did," Witham said. "We knew we had to shut down their top players. It's nice to get that lucky goal and to have things go our way."
Pirates senior forward Alex Sjobakken, whose team fell in the 3A state quarterfinals last season and entered the game with six goals on only 10 shots in a pair of 10-0 victories, said this setback will serve as a wake-up call.
"This one is disappointing and will only help us," Sjobakken said. "This one will be with us for a while."