It was a long hair don't care moment for Mackenzie Kober.
During halftime of St. Anthony's 1-0 win over St. John the Baptist Wednesday, all of the Friars took a seat on the field with the exception of Kober, who stood nearby adjusting her headband and hair.
It was understandable. Minutes earlier, she had used her head to score the game's lone goal, sacrificing her ponytail in the process.
"I just stuck my head out there," she said of the goal, "hoping I could get it in."
Katrina Friedman had sent in a free kick from 55 yards that took a bounce over the defense. Once the ball hit the ground, Kober charged in, leaped and headed it over the keeper to give St. Anthony's a 1-0 lead with 11:32 remaining in the first half.
"I just tried to get it over the defenders and have someone get on the end of it," Friedman said of the kick. "Luckily, it went in the right spot and Mackenzie was there to finish it."
With the win, the Friars (10-1-1) handed St. John the Baptist (7-1-3) its first defeat of the season and avenged their loss to the Cougars suffered in September.
St. John the Baptist's best scoring opportunities came on free kicks off the foot of defender Lauren Fremgen. In the first half, she nearly scored on kicks of 45 and 50 yards, but St. Anthony's keeper Kelly DiGregorio, who finished with eight saves, was able to make the stops.
Fremgen had another chance early in the second half from 35 yards, but DiGregorio caught the ball on the fly in traffic to preserve the Friars' one-goal lead.
"It was very frustrating," Fremgen said. "I could help determine whether we win or lose with those kicks . . . We know we can beat any team. It was just disappointing today."
As for Kober, she spent the morning taking the practice SATs and the afternoon scoring the winning goal in what could be considered a practice CHSAA championship game. That is, of course, should these two teams meet again in the league final.
"We were all so determined to get them back and get this win because it was very important for us," Kober said. "This gives us a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs."
As for those long-hair problems? "I've figured out how to deal with it," she said. "Just a lot of hair ties."