Boys Soccer: Marist blanks Benet 2-0
By Patrick Z. McGavin For Sun-Times Media September 30, 2013 10:14PM
Updated: November 2, 2013 6:16AM
A shutout is a collective achievement, though not all are created equally. Some result from the winning team’s ability to control possession time and deny opportunities.
Noah Kemp delivered his own version, best thought of as exhibit A of the purist type, the goalkeeper who vanquishes every attempt.
The 5-foot-4 Marist junior turned in an electrifying performance, deflecting, stopping or blocking 13 Benet attempts as the host RedHawks stunned the Redwings 2-0 in a showdown of East Suburban Catholic unbeaten teams Monday night in the Mount Greenwood community.
Kemp recorded his fourth shutout of the year as surging Marist (10-4, 5-0) captured its eighth straight victory. Marist became the first team in two years to beat Benet in conference play.
“(Kemp) has a lot of talent and he does a lot despite his size,” Marist coach Sean Maxwell said. “He’s a great leader on the field, very demanding and organized.”
Kemp was quick to spread the credit.
“It’s not just me out there, and I have to give a lot of credit to my offense and a lot of credit to my defense,” he said. “As a ’keeper, you have to keep the defense organized. You have to give Benet credit for putting on the pressure.”
Benet (11-2-1, 4-1) created terrific pressure from the start when Redwings star midfielder Paddy Lawler smashed a header that hit off the post.
“We got some breaks early, a couple of their shots hit the post, got some deflections,” Marist midfielder Charlie Earner said. “We knew we had to come out hard, because Benet’s a great team, and we saw how many goals they were scoring. Everyone stepped up big, and Noah made some great saves.”
Earner changed the complexion of the game by scoring in the 22nd minute on a RedHawks throw-in. He alertly took control of the ball in the scrum and punched in a short rebound for his second goal of the year.
“Once we got the lead, our defense took over,” Earner said.
Marist also caught some favorable bounces. Lawler appeared to create the equalizer in the 35th minute after he controlled a ball and launched a shot that seemingly was curving inside the back post. At the final second, the diagonal of the ball straightened out and it hit the post.
“That (play) just changed the game,” Benet coach Sean Wesley said. “I thought we played well for the first 10 minutes, but it seemed after that we could never get the momentum back. Then they got one early and we were chasing them the rest of the night.
“Every time we got into dangerous areas, (Kemp) stood in the center and we had a tendency to hit the ball right at him or we shot wide, and we got a little bit unlucky with (Lawler’s) shot that hit the post.”
Marist forward Brendan McHugh added the insurance score in the 66th minute. Holding the ball on the left wing, he patiently waited for his shot and smashed a ball that rose and curved for the game’s dagger.
“I just kind of dropped it in,” he said of his third goal of the year. “When I shot it, I saw it and I thought it was going straight to the goalie, but it went over him and everybody jumped on me.”
Marist defeated Benet two years ago at home and lost last year in overtime to the Redwings.
“We’ve had this game circled since Day 1,” McHugh said.