It's a fine balance in the spring for Assumption athletics.
With so many players on both the girls track and soccer teams, many times both programs have players out for certain meets and matches.
Though they were missing many pieces Thursday, the Class 1A No. 1 Knights showed their depth, beating Alleman 3-0 at the Alleman Athletic Complex.
"I think we're really confident once the girls get back, it will push us even more to keep going hard," freshman Sully Kelly said.
Kelly scored the game's first goal in the 21st minute, and has been a big piece of the early-season success for the Knights (7-1). She's second on the team with five goals and has added three assists.
"You call on these girls and they step up and come through every time," Assumption coach Elizabeth Maus said. "We've been through more adversity than we would have liked to this season but the girls have met the challenge every time. I can't ask more from them at this point. We're very pleased with the way they moved the ball, the way they connected passes, they worked as a team tonight.
"I can't wait to see what we look like when we have everybody together."
Since dropping a tough, card-filled match to North Scott on April 10, the Knights have reeled off four straight wins.
Included in that stretch was a 1-0 win over Quincy, again without several pieces. Getting wins over the Blue Devils and Pioneers is good momentum as the season reaches its midpoint.
"I think it really helps going forward, playing out-of-state schools," junior Molly Gervase said. "Illinois has great soccer, they're very physical, they fight for every 50/50 ball, so I really think it helps."
Gervase scored the second goal of the game in the 59th minute, then Lauren Herrig capped the scoring in the 75th minute.
It's a tough setback for the Pioneers (4-6), who played one of their better matches Tuesday against Quincy but never could get an attack against the Knights, getting outshot 15-1.
"It's difficult, you hope they grow and get better every game but it seems like tonight they took a step back," Alleman coach Randy Bollman said. "It could have been just the high from Tuesday that we came in not ready, but I think they'll bounce back just fine."
The biggest bright spot was the Alleman defense, which limited chances early, and the play of goalkeeper Megan Tanghe, who made 12 saves in net.
"Our back line is solid. The way they play together, they're always covering for each other, constant work rate from them," Bollman said. "We put them under a lot of pressure with wanting to build out of the back so they did a great job. That's definitely a good thing."