Brookfield Academy's Adrianne Koveck plays the hero in final moments of state-championship soccer match

The Blue Knights scored a late goal to beat rival Lake Country Lutheran in the state finals.

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The minutes were counting down in the WIAA Division 4 state final on June 17 with Brookfield Academy and Lake Country Lutheran/University Lake School.

But with less than five minutes to play in regulation, the left foot of Brookfield Academy sophomore Adrianne Koveck changed everything.

Both Midwest Classic Conference rivals had strong opportunities throughout the final, which took place at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee, but 85 minutes, 12 seconds into the game, Koveck controlled the ball well beyond the box.

Koveck took a hard turn to her left and blasted a shot from distance, which found the upper 90 of the goal for a 1-0 lead.

"I was just hoping (it would go in)," Koveck said. "I said a little prayer and it went right in."

BA coach Lee Rogers had emphasized the need to get on the board in regulation during a water break in the second half.

"We just said, 'We're not coming out here just to sit here and go into overtime, so let's get up there and a little bit extra effort right now turns into a whole lot less running,'" Rogers said.

Lake Country Lutheran coach Jeremy Hedrick wasn't pleased with the moments leading up to Koveck's goal.

"The unfortunate thing is that it came off a blown call," Hedrick said. "It should have been a foul the other way because (LCL senior) Haddie (Carlson) was being held, and then Haddie got called for a foul somehow. The ball came in, bounced back, and that's where (Koveck) got her goal from."

Koveck missed five weeks due to an injury this season, which included BA's 5-4 win over LCL.

"We put (BA senior) Anika (Washburn) up front when she was hurt," Rogers said. "So (Koveck) had to adjust to a new position, lot more running. She was a starter up front all last year. She made the adjustments to midfield and did a really nice job. When you have a natural left footer on the left side, what a weapon it could be. That's what happened. We put the ball in the box, it came out, they won the header but it comes out. She's ready and takes the shot. That's what you want. You want to put your players in the position to make a play if it happens."

Two years ago, LCL bested BA in a shootout of the state semifinals.

"I was here watching it, and I just felt for the girls for how terrible it must be," Koveck said. "I was thinking in the back of my head, 'We can't lose to them. We can't lose to them.'"

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Rogers expected another close battle with the Lightning.

"I knew it was going to be about the same game," Rogers said. "It was a tough game then, it was a tough game now. It's a conference game. This is not playing a brand new team. It's going to be a dogfight no matter what you record is. I was expecting it."

Hedrick credited his team for not giving up after Koveck's goal.

"They're a team of fighters," Hedrick said. "Especially with having nine seniors on the team and eight of them starting and playing most of the time. It was their last chance to do anything. I thought they fought back over and over again. They get a call against them and they keep fighting. The goal went in, and they weren't going to quit. They were going to make sure that they gave every last ounce they had to try and give themselves a shot to win still."

The BA goal was the first score LCL had surrendered in five postseason games. One of the reasons the Lightning had been so strong in the back was because of senior Tara Bahr, who battled through a knee injury she sustained in the sectional final.

"She came off a (separate) knee injury from basketball just to even fight back to be able to play this year altogether," Hedrick said. "Had it been virtually anybody else, there's no way the would have played. She's just an incredible fighter and she plays through a lot of pain. She's used to getting hit, she's used to hurting a little bit so she's able to push through it and do things that a lot of players would not be able to."

Even though the two teams had scored nine total goals earlier this season, Rogers thought the score would be much lower in the state title game.

"It's a different kind of play in the playoffs," Rogers said. "We've never been in this spot before. I thought it would take a goal or two. These guys were ready to play us. They were going to play differently. They had people who could score. We didn't want to extend ourselves too much either. (Carlson) had some really nice runs at the goal early on. We weren't sharp in the midfield, they were on their toes, we were flat-footed."

The title was Brookfield Academy's first in program history. LCL made its sixth straight state appearance, with one state title and five losses coming either in overtime, penalties or by a 1-0 score in regulation.

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