WHEATFIELD — Kankakee Valley scored two goals by halftime then turned the game over to the defense in winning Wednesday’s 2-0 Northwest Crossroads Conference battle with rival Lowell.
It was the conference opener for both schools.
Prior to kick-off, nine senior players were honored by the KVHS athletic department, including Ty Niewoehner, Aiden Thompson, Alex Lain, Colin Wheeler, Andrew Tobias, Devin Mount, Noah Fry, Hayden Myers and Julian Colon.
The senior group earned starts and played “brilliantly” throughout the evening, said coach Jovan Jeftich.
After a slow start for both teams, KV (3-1-3, 1-0) struck first, with Joel Gomez taking a pinpoint pass from Colon and punching in his team-high sixth goal of the season. Colon’s pass slipped through multiple defenders before connecting with Gomez, a junior midfielder/forward.
Minutes later, a foul in the box by a Lowell player allowed KV to set up for a penalty kick. Chris Varela Carerra calmly buried his second goal of the season with the free kick, putting the Kougars up 2-0.
KV did have a number of goal-scoring chances in the second half, including six corner kick opportunities, but was unable to add to its total. The defense, meanwhile, played exceptionally well, Jeftich said, giving goalkeeper Myers his first shutout of the season.
“Lowell did not register a shot on goal in the second half and the Kougar defense had much to do with that,” Jeftich said.
Myers finished with three saves and Colon had an assist. Lowell goalkeeper Tommy Johnson had seven saves.
KV’s junior varsity squad was also in action Wednesday, recording a 3-0 shutout of the Red Devils.