The Sacred Heart girls soccer team shut out opponents eight times this spring.
“We had a lot of speed on the defense,” said junior sweeper Honor Kehde. “Sydney (Bogue) was very quick and our outsides were good at pushing the attack to the outside. Everybody helped out well, and it was the best our defense has worked.”
And Kehde was the linchpin of that defense, fitting in well with the Gremlins’ scheme.
Kehde was recognized for her abilities as the Democrat’s choice to be May Athlete of the Month.
“She just has great vision of the game,” said Sacred Heart coach Travis Cooper. “She cuts the angles really well. She’s just a hard-nosed defender. For a girl that’s only 5-2, she plays like she’s 6-3 at times. It doesn’t bother her to go up and get a ball. She plays good, solid defense, and the other girls see that and play off of her.”
Cooper also sees a lot of those traits in freshman defender Bogue.
“I think we’re going to see a lot of that from her in the years to come, and it’s giving her great experience being able to play with Honor for the next couple of years,” he said.
Kehde said she and Bogue clicked immediately in the Gremlins’ defense, where holding midfielder Laura Wadley was tasked with slowing down attacks, and Kehde and Bogue were asked to stop whatever got through.
“You never want to stay flat,” Kehde said. “One of us just had to work up and the other dropped, and we just had to know when to do that.”
When the defense would make those stops, Kehde had the ability to transition to offense out of the back.
“Laura’s a very solid defender and that allowed Honor the ability to get out of the backfield on a run where she wasn’t picked up, and we could use some of her foot skills and her vision on the offensive side of the ball, too,” Cooper said.
Kehde had that ability thanks to her speed. It is that same speed that allowed her to move up into attacks and still get back before the other team got into transition.
“Speed is something you can’t coach,” Cooper said. “We’ve been fortunate to have that good speed. Honor has that rundown speed. She rarely gets out-run on a breakaway. Even if the girl gets a couple steps on her, I feel very confident Honor can run her down.”
“If I had to push myself to get there, I would just have to push myself and generally it worked out,” Kehde said.
In a couple of games, Cooper used Kehde as an attacker.
In a game against Osage in which the Gremlins fell behind in the first half, Kehde moved up top midway through the second and tied the game with a 73rd minute goal before assisting on the game-winner in the 80th minute.
In the Class 1, District 9 final against St. Paul Lutheran, Kehde again moved to the front and had a couple of chances saved in the second half and overtime.
“Whenever I was younger, I was primarily a forward,” she said. “It wasn’t until junior high I made the transition to defense. I just had to get back into the rhythm.”
Playing at the front allowed her to combine with Morgan Bogue, a former partner at forward from her club soccer days.
“We’re very familiar with the way we both play,” Kehde said. “It was very easy to work off each other.”
From both playing up front and making runs from the back, Kehde scored three goals, while assisting on eight others this season.
“Honor’s just a great kid,” Cooper said. “I can’t say enough about her work ethic. Not only is she a leader on the field, she’s a 4.53 GPA student.”