A season-ending ACL injury to midfielder Abby Potter isn't slowing down Carmel Catholic's girls soccer team.
The Corsairs stand in first place in the East Suburban Catholic Conference after cooling off visiting Benet Academy 5-2 in Mundelein on Wednesday.
Kathleen Graham had a goal and 2 assists, and Angie Salvi added a goal and an assist. Riley Harmon, Ciara Thomas and Shanon Murphy also scored for the home team. Jen Cutro also had an assist, as Carmel improved to 4-4-1 and 2-0 in the ESCC.
Benet (7-3, 3-2) had its five-game winning streak snapped.
"It's a great win," Carmel coach Ray Krawzak said. "It's been a while since we've been able to get a win against them. It's a good feeling. We knew that this one would be a big game. Winning the conference is a major goal of ours this season. This feels like a turning point for us."
Playing on wet grass, the Corsairs scored in the second minute when Graham's corner kick was headed in by Thomas. Benet answered in the 15th minute, as Katie Gesior took advantage of a Carmel defensive mistake.
Carmel regained the lead for good off a free kick outside the box started by Salvi. She sent the ball to the left side of the box, where Graham ran onto the ball and quickly passed it back to the top. Harmon delivered a shot into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead in the 35th minute.
"(Carmel) outplayed us in every aspect of the game," Benet coach Gerard Oconer said. "We fell behind on two set pieces that we fell asleep on."
The Corsairs added another goal in the 48th minute, as Salvi connected with Graham, who finished for a 3-1 advantage.
"I was looking for a player with a through ball," Salvi said. "I was looking to make a (pass) as opposed to kicking it."
Benet got a goal back in the 57th minute, when Mia Tommasone scored on a rebound to make the score 3-2. But the Corsairs scored two more times to put the match out of reach. Murphy had an unassisted goal in the 60th minute, and Salvi tallied a goal off the post after a pass from Cutro.
Carmel's defense held off several rushes thanks to Ali Cepon, Haley Miller, Lily Sykes, Thomas and keeper Sophia Sarkis (6 saves).
"Every time we got in the final 18, when we had that final opportunity, they did just enough to get a body on us," Oconer said. "They poked the ball away from us and just defended very well. They clogged up the middle, they were physical with us, and they just made it very tough for us to play through. Over the last couple of games we haven't had that many opportunities, so it made it a bit tougher in this one."