Kaufman’s third goal sends Lady Hawks to late victory

Kaufman’s third goal sends Lady Hawks to late victory

Image Credit: Dave Mast

One minute the Hiland Lady Hawks were enjoying a two-goal lead over visiting Mansfield Christian in their Saturday, Sept. 10 contest at Hiland High School.

Moments later things were tied and looking hairy, but Kate Kaufman’s third goal of the game with five minutes remaining lifted the Lady Hawks back to victory, a 4-3 thriller in a game matching up two very evenly talented teams.

“One of the things I think we needed to work on the most is intensity and approaching the game the right way,” Hiland head coach Conner Lee said. “To lose a lead when you feel like you’re playing well and then to not roll over and come back and find a way to earn a gutsy win shows me this group has a lot of grit.”

While Kaufman starred, it would be freshman Channelle Kellogg getting the scoring started, taking a pass from Chloe Beach and delivering her first varsity goal in the 23rd minute.

“It was a pass by another freshman (Beach), so it was a pretty good freshman goal,” Kellogg said. “I was very proud of me and Chloe.”

“It’s one thing to come in as a freshman and score in mop-up time in a game, but for her to step into a tight game and make an immediate impact like that is impressive,” Lee said of Kellogg. “She’s deserving the minutes she’s getting.”

Five minutes later Noelle Beare found the equalizer, only to see Kaufman take over, scoring in the 31st and 38th minutes off of assists from Kailyn Miller and Beach again.

Hiland (5-2) then found out Mansfield Christian (5-2) wasn’t about to go away. A goal in the 42nd minute drew the game to 3-2. Then a score with around 10 minutes to play made it a new game.

What followed was 23 minutes of offensive action, with both teams knocking on the door but neither able to find the back of the net, until Bryn Yoder fed Kaufman on the right side and Kaufman did what she does best, finishing for the game-winning goal that broke Mansfield Christian’s heart late.

“It was very nice being able to beat them and playing a good game overall,” Kaufman said, adding that after Mansfield Christian came back to find an equalizer, the Lady Hawks dug deep, knowing they had to fight even harder.

This marks Kaufman’s first hat trick of the season, and she said she can’t remember connecting on one last season, so it may be a first for her.

Kaufman said this team continues to grow in its ability to communicate and connect and is coming together as a unit, having posted some nice wins this year over several quality opponents.

Defensive Capt. Brynne Coil said after MC tied it, the defense knew it had to step up and eliminate mistakes to give the offense a chance to win it, which was exactly what happened.

“We always say we want to be a unit,” Coil said. “Shape is our big focus. We really want to keep our shape. When we are all on the same page, we all work together, and we did late.”

As for watching the offense knock home the game-winner after giving up the two-goal lead, Coil said, “That was such a relief. We were freaking out a little bit after giving up the two goals, but we have faith in our offense, so it was really nice.”

Hiland outshot Mansfield Christian 8-3 and mustered only two corners to MC’s six.

The win was great for Hiland, but their head coach knows there is still work to do.

“Defensively, we made some mistakes today that we have to clean up, but the offense was able to pick us up,” Lee said. “I think teams are starting to key on Kate now, and they probably should be, but we were still able to find a way to produce four goals against a quality opponent.”