MARION – When rivals come together for a common cause, it’s only fitting that it doesn’t end in regulation.
A diving save by Linn-Mar sophomore goalkeeper Rylie Frese clinched a 7-6 penalty-kick advantage as Class 3A seventh-ranked Linn-Mar Lions downed No. 5 Kennedy in a double-overtime stalemate in the fifth-annual “Kickin’ Cancer” awareness game at Linn-Mar.
“Sometimes you just got to think about what they’re thinking, and if they’re trying to trick you,” Frese said of her strategy during penalty kicks. “My team fought the whole game, they never gave up, and we finished it off like we needed to.”
The teams adorned contrasting pink jerseys in support of cancer awareness. Funds were raised by both schools leading up to the game in the form of bake sales, bracelet and T-shirt sales, and a raffle.
After a scoreless first half played in a windy drizzle with temperatures in the mid-30s, Kennedy (1-3, 1-1 MVC) tried to turn up the heat in the second half. An aggressive, attacking offensive strategy largely played on the Linn-Mar side for the final 35 minutes of regulation yielded no goals against Frese.
“They battled themselves and the weather tonight,” Linn-Mar Coach Steve Dickinson said. “They supported each other. One would pressure and the other would support. They did a nice job of not letting Kennedy get a good look.”
Linn-Mar (2-0, 2-0 MVC) used its fearless defenders to block multiple Cougar shot attempts and create a logjam in any passing lanes.
“I trust my defenders with my life, they keep me so safe back there,” Frese said. “It did take a long time for that second half to pass, but we did it.”
The Lions travel to Dubuque Wahlert for an MVC match Monday. Kennedy hosts Cedar Rapids Washington next Tuesday.