BURLINGTON, Wis. - Beloit Knitro head coach Brian Denu didn't mince words describing his team's 3-1 victory over host Burlington Thursday night.
"What a game!" Denu said. "This was most likely the best team we have ever beaten in program history and it was definitely earned."
Burlington was 15-2-3 last season with a 1-0 sectional final loss to eventual state champion Oregon. They return eight of 11 starters, including a player going to Southeast Missouri State on a full soccer scholarship and a goalkeeper who has verbally committed to Iowa State as a sophomore. They are the 5 time defending Southern Lakes champions and the favorite to win again this year.
"None of those things seemed to bother our ladies," Denu said.
Falling behing 1-0 didn't faze them either.
"We gave up a free kick 10 yards inside of midfield and the Demons played the ball over our line of defenders," Denu said. "We failed to run with our players and they were able to score after a brief scrum in the box."
The Knitro tied the game just before the half on a shot by Gabi Arreguin after receiing a pass from Alyssa Jimenez.
Beloit immediately won possession of the ball. Amber Wald played a dangerous service into the box that eventually found the foot of Jimenez who poked it past the keeper for a 2-1 halftime lead.
Beloit scored scored early in the half as Gabi Arreguin intercepted a pass and squeezed a shot past the goalkeeper for what proved to be the final goal of the game.
"Evelyn Mendoza made some nice saves but did an even better job of snuffing out balls and taking possession right off the foot of the attacking player," Denu said. "The entire defensive back line was on point tonight and the offensive attack led by the Arreguin twins and Fruity (Jimenez) is playing at such a high level."
The Knitro improved to 4-1-0.