Even though Lexington Catholic went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, the Knights didn't look convinced.
Coach Terry Quigley could see uncertainty in their eyes. They knew they'd been outplayed by top-ranked Sacred Heart.
So the coach turned pop psychologist at the break.
"Believe in yourself," he told the second-ranked Knights. "Have a little faith; go to the ball and play good defense."
They did as they were told and managed to upset the Valkyries 1-0 and win their own Lady Knights Challenge Cup on Saturday night
The Catholic win halted an 18-game win streak over in-state opponents for Sacred Heart, which has been dominant in the past few years, winning three straight state titles.
With the upset, Quigley knows the Knights probably will take over the state's top ranking and have an even bigger target on their backs.
He's happy to have all of that if it means his relatively young team, which starts three sophomores in the back, gets some swagger.
"I hope it does" give them some confidence, Quigley said. "I want them to read an article that says, 'You girls did good and we're proud of you.' They need that confidence."
They definitely got some, keeper Kate Fitzgerald said.
"We've never beaten Sacred Heart since I've been here," the junior said. "It's a great feeling."
She managed to punch out what would have been the game-tying goal with 20 seconds left. A Sara Herbert shot from 20 yards out looked destined to find the back of the net.
"I really thought it was going in, that it was going over my head," Fitzgerald said. "It was probably my most exciting save ever."
Quigley couldn't say enough about his keeper or the back line of Josie Metzger (tournament Most Valuable Player), Alli Robic and Hannah Prater, who combined to earn their fifth shutout of the season and help Catholic win its eighth straight.
"Kate was wonderful tonight," Quigley said. "The whole defense was. ... This is a good thing for our defense because they took 80 minutes of strong pressure and held."
But it was one shot on offense that got it all started.
Quigley's halftime talk about faith and confidence was easier for the players to hear with a 1-0 lead thanks to Mary Beth Gorham.
The Knights' first and only shot on goal in the first half came with 45 seconds to go when Gorham raced down the field with two Sacred Heart defenders, faked left and went right, launching a rocket shot from 20 yards out to put the Knights up 1-0.
"I just saw the gap and decided to take it and take the shot," Gorham said. "Thank goodness it was a good shot.
"I thought it was going straight to the keeper but at the last second it curved and the keeper just stopped."
It was exactly what Quigley likes to see from his sophomore scorer.
"I want Mary Beth to shoot whenever she can see the goal," he said. "The ball was dipping and that's a scorer's shot. It was a terrific shot."
Lexington Catholic 1, Sacred Heart 0
Goals—LC: Mary Beth Gorham. Goalkeepers—SHA: Maddie Peabody; LC: Kate Fitzgerald.
Records—Sacred Heart 7-2-4, Lexington Catholic 10-1-1.
Manual 3, Assumption 1
Goals—M: Casey Whitfield 3; A: Rebecca Schwager. Goalkeepers—M: Katie Pope; A: Katie Jones.
Records—Manual 11-2-1, Assumption 2-8-2.
Elizabethtown 4, Notre Dame 0
Goals—E: Hannah Kuhn 2, Madison Conway, Emily Richardson. Goalkeepers—E: Audrey Duke; ND: Lauren Knasel, Olivia Voskuhl.
Records—Elizabethtown 9-4-2, Notre Dame 9-6.
Highlands 2, Woodford Co. 1
Goals—H: Mackenzie Grause, Ava Abner; WC: Taylor Kelly. Goalkeepers—H: Sydney Groneck, Tessie Mettens; WC: Rachel Glass.
Records—Highlands 8-6, Woodford Co. 5-5-1.