Kyle Kenagy’s eye-opening goal launches Benet past Nazareth

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Kyle Kenagy has scored a lot of goals for Benet the past two seasons, but none were as spectacular as the game-winner he notched Wednesday against Nazareth.

The East Suburban Catholic Conference game was seven minutes old when Benet junior goalkeeper Konrad Bayer launched a free kick 60 yards up the middle of the field.

Kenagy ran under it, swung his right leg about 12 yards from the goal and volleyed the ball into the net before Nazareth goalkeeper David Caldwell could react.

The senior forward wound up with two goals and two assists as the host Redwings rolled to a 6-0 victory in Lisle but the buzz afterward was all about his opening strike.

“Best goal I’ve ever seen,” Benet coach Sean Wesley said. “For a 60-yard ball over your head, to take it out of the air one-touch and put it on frame with authority, that changed the game.

“We were playing well but when you can be ruthless like that in the box with somebody with that kind of ability who is just relentless about getting the ball on frame, it’s scary.”

To Bayer it was a thing of beauty. The assist was the first point of his career.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Bayer said. “It’s the first time I’ve done that so it was a good feeling.

“We had the ball pretty far up. I kicked it and Kyle can finish from wherever.”

For Kenagy, the start of the play was as good as the finish.

“I couldn’t ask for a better ball,” Kenagy said. “It just floated perfectly in. It wasn’t hit super hard.

“It floated right in so I basically just got a foot on it and tried to redirect it. Coach always tells us to shoot one-time to get the goalie off guard while he’s trying to set his feet.”

Caldwell gave up five goals in the first half but none were his fault.

Nazareth (5-5-1, 1-2) held firm for the next 20 minutes before Benet (6-2, 2-0) scored on four consecutive shots during a span of 2:51 to put the game away.

Sophomore Daniel Morefield scored the next two goals, both off assists from Kenagy. The first came with 11:41 left in the first half on an open shot from the right side of the box after Kenagy had redirected a 35-yard free kick from Bennett Curtis.

The second came at the 10:18 mark on another open shot and seemed to demoralize the young Roadrunners, who start only two seniors. Kenagy and Sam Knapke proceeded to score 22 seconds apart, with Kenagy’s goal a header off a cross from Curtis. Knapke was unassisted.

“Coach talked to us before the game about being relentless in the box and I think we finally pulled through today and they just went in,” said Kenagy, who now has 10 goals. “The focus was there, our shots on goal were all there.”

It was the first two-goal game for Morefield, who doubled his season total to four.

“Morefield is a great player,” Kenagy said. “That’s not going to be his only two-goal game, I’ll tell you that.”

Ben Kelly finished the scoring early in the second half off a pass from Artur Pach. The Redwings outshot Nazareth 24-3 despite playing their reserves after intermission.

“Benet is very good, there’s no question about it, and we’re very young,” Nazareth coach Doug Hunt said. “It was 1-0 for a long time. Then the trouble with youth is, once the second one happened, they don’t know how to pick themselves up.”

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