Erin Brophy was in fourth grade when her family moved to West Lafayette.
Knowing no one, Brophy befriended classmate Jayma Benda when the two rode the same bus.
Both stood out in Monday’s girls soccer Class A West Lafayette Sectional opener, but as opponents. Brophy had a goal and an assist at the expense of her friend, who is now the goalkeeper for Faith Christian, in leading second-ranked West Lafayette to an 8-0 victory.
The last two years, Benda attended West Lafayette High School and couldn’t make the roster. On Monday she was under constant fire, making 16 saves as the Eagles’ last line of defense.
“It’s weird seeing Jayma on the other side, but she’s definitely improved a lot, I think,” Brophy said. “She did a great job tonight. It’s great to see her out there. She’s had opportunities now where she is.
“I used to play with her on a club team and she was really good. When she came to West Side, we just had older keepers that were really good and it was tough to get her playing time.”
The Red Devils (10-4-1) advance to Thursday’s semifinals against Central Catholic (10-6). Monday night marked their first home victory of the season after losses to Zionsville, Guerin Catholic and Valparaiso.
Faith Christian was competing in its first IHSAA postseason contest.
For nearly 19 minutes, the undermanned Eagles and their man-marking defense kept the Red Devils off the board. Brophy connected with Meredith Marley in the 19th minute for all the offense WL needed.
“Our team, as you can see, is a very small team compared to having a full bench on West Side, and we just dug the best we could, but they were in better shape and they were faster,” Benda said. “There are some things we can’t control, so we did the best we could.”
Shelby Mann scored a goal in each half and Laurel Fricker booted Kylie Tracanna’s pass into the box past Benda in the first half, giving WL a 3-0 halftime lead.
Fricker and Meghan Moody assisted Maya Alexander goals in the second half. Alexander also scored unassisted, completing a hat trick in a 4:16 span.
While Faith Christian was able to keep WL’s high-powered offense off the scoreboard for a portion of the first half, the Red Devils anticipated that holes would open for shooting opportunities as Monday’s match wore on.
“We were definitely anticipating that and expecting that,” Alexander said. “From the beginning of the game, that was evident and something we were aware of. It took us a little while to adapt to the way they were playing.”