'Nifty Nine' shine as Benet rolls

By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 5/5/2014 10:53 PM

Benet recognized its seniors, nicknamed "The Nifty Nine," midway through Monday's East Suburban Catholic Conference match against Bishop McNamara at Benedictine University in Lisle.

The Redwings scored an "exceptional eight" goals as they took all of the fight out of the Irish in a convincing 8-0 victory.

The win came after Saturday's notable 2-0 triumph over Naperville Central in the Naperville Invitational.

"We wanted to possess the ball but also didn't want to take advantage of them," Benet senior and co-captain Michelle Morefield said. "We just wanted to get it done and make a big impact on our senior night."

Senior Liz Miller didn't waste any time in the first half, netting a hat trick before intermission. Morefield put the Redwings up 1-0, scoring in the opening four minutes. Junior Kate Hennessy also found the back of the net, doing so in the last four minutes of the half as the Redwings jumped to a 5-0 lead.

"This was especially nice for the girls who don't get as much time during the regular season but got a chance to play a lot today," Morefield said. "Tonight was a lot of fun. It was cool to have some of our fellow classmates out here watching us. This is the third (senior night) I've been a part of, so it was weird to finally be a part of one."

Benet (13-2-1, 5-0-1) introduced its seniors and their parents during halftime. In addition to Morefield and Miller, the Redwings recognized Katie Baumann, Lexi Boyer, Emily Curtis, Claire Elenteny, Rachel Pavlinec, Christina Stopka and Carissa Tsouchlos. All nine already have chosen colleges to attend next year, although only Baumann (Trinity College, Ireland) and Curtis (Illinois Wesleyan) are expected to play soccer at the next level.

A trio of juniors joined in on the fun in the second half when Sophia Elbchiri, Hannah Pfeiffer and Cara Sortino all scored.

Juniors Loretta Elder and Jacquie Kaufman each chipped in with 2 assists. Morefield, Pfeiffer, Sortino and freshman Katie Gesior also had assists. Stopka and Emma Hlavin combined on the shutout.

"We want to make a big run into the sectionals and get as far as we can," Morefield said. "We want to keep playing like we've been playing, but we'll take care of conference first before we start thinking about a run toward a state title. "

The Redwings have three more matches before their regular-season finale May 15 against Hinsdale Central. The Red Devils are the No. 2 seed in the Downers Grove South sectional. The Redwings are the No. 3 seed.

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