Knights girls blank J-Hawks

Union freshman forward Molly Grote (16) manuevers around Sylvie Meyer (23) of Cedar Rapids Jefferson during the Knights 3-0 shutout victory over the J-Hawks on April 15. Grote was the tip of the offensive spear for Union last Thursday, capitalizing three scoring drives with goals. The Knights face Mid-Prairie and Gladbrook-Reinbeck next week. Darvin Graham/NT Telegraph

The Union Knights (1-3) girls soccer team got their first win of the season with a home contest against Cedar Rapids Jefferson on April 15.

Union won 3-0 behind a dominant offensive performance led by freshman forward Molly Grote who scored all three of the Knights goals.

Union set the pace for most of the night with offensive time of possession crescendoing in their favor as the game wore on.

The teams were knotted at zero until the 5:50 mark in the first half when Grote managed to get behind the J-Hawks defense to score from short-range one-on-one against the Jefferson keeper.

The teams went into the half with Union leading 1-0.

North Tama junior Aubree Monat is among a group of North Tama athletes competing in the shared program with Union. Monat was agressive on the field through both halves Thursday, taking six shots against the J-Hawks. Darvin Graham/NT Telegraph

Almost as soon as the second half whistle sounded, Grote and the Knights struck again, catching the J-Hawks off-guard with a Grote goal in the opening seconds of play.

Not long after the Knights scored their third goal and were able to play downhill the rest of the way.

In the final 20 minutes of play the J-Hawks rarely managed to advance the ball into Union territory, much less get off any good shots at the goal.

With most of the players loaded into the Jefferson side of the field, Union strikers took several strikes on goal but struggled to find the spacing that made it helpful in their earlier scoring attempts.

Although Grote led the team in scoring, several other players took shots against the J-Hawks.

Sophomore Jaiden Bush had a team-high nine shots, junior Aubree Monat had six, Grote and freshman Reagan Sorensen both had five shots while Kylee Peterson and Alyssa Hatch had four and Grace Johnson and Charlie Keegan tallied two and one shots respectively.

Freshman keeper Dacey Powell was not called upon a great deal but contributed one save on the defensive end.

Although the Knights hold only one win so far in the early-going, two of their losses came against top schools.

In both their season opener against third-ranked 3A Cedar Falls and 1A seventh-ranked Dike-New Hartford, the Knights scored a goal and held their opponent to only three goals.

Through April 19 Grote has scored four of the team’s goals and senior Grace Johnson one (against D-NH on Monday).

At the net, Powell has recorded 38 saves through four games.

On Thursday, the Knights took on Hudson (3-2) and will host Mid-Prairie (4-2) on Monday and travel to Reinbeck to take on GC/GR (2-3) next Thursday.