EDGERTON -- Juan Flores has been taking free kicks for years.
Since he was a freshman, the midfielder has been Worthington's go-to player.
"I practice them during practice and during the game, they work," Flores said. "I've been taking them since I was a freshman. It's just all the practice I've put in it and without the help of all my teammates, I wouldn't be able to do it. It's all teamwork."
In Thursday's boys' soccer game against Southwest Christian, that experience paid off.
Flores scored on a free kick and added a goal on a penalty kick, leading the Trojans to a 2-1 victory.
"We always want to beat these guys, and this season, we did it," Flores said. "They beat us last year and this year, we beat them.
"It's their hometown, you can always expect a close game. They're a good team and it's always a tough game against them."
After a scoreless first half, Flores didn't waste much time finding the net.
Five minutes into the second half, the Trojans (7-0-2) were awarded a free kick after a handball was called on SWC (5-4-1).
Needing a goal, Flores stepped up to take the kick.
Just outside the box, the senior eyed his opponent -- 6-foot 9-inch goalie Zach Huisken.
Despite the height, Flores unleashed a shot into the upper corner over a SWC defender by the post, giving WHS a 1-0 lead.
"I saw the guy on the post and I saw that he was a little short," Flores said. "I thought to myself that if I kick it there, the guy will jump and (Huisken's) not going to hit his player. He's never going to get there. I just thought about that and placed it in the right way."
But then it was SWC's turn to score.
Two minutes later, Eagle Klint Knutson was fouled hard as he was driving toward the net and awarded a penalty kick.
Trojan goalie Jordan Balster guessed correctly and dove to his left.
But Knutson had too much power as the ball found the back of the net to even the score at 1-all.
"I picked the right way and I got to it," Balster said. "I guess I just didn't get enough power on it.
"It can go anywhere, up, down or side to side. You just guess a way to go. You have to guess, if you're not guessing, you're just waiting for them to kick it. If they get it to the corner, it's almost impossible to stop."
However, that was the only goal Balster allowed.
"Sometimes you have bad days and once you're not doing good, it seems to carry with you," the goalie said. "But if you start to do good, then you're ready and more aware of everything and that's all you're thinking about."
The Eagles peppered Balster, coming up with a pair of key saves in the first half.
In the final 40 minutes, the combination of Balster and the Trojan defense kept the Eagle offense at bay.
"(The defense) is always doing that," Balster said. "They're really quick and they're always there to get the ball before the offense gets there."
In the 49th minute, Flores again had another free-kick opportunity.
This time, his shot was just high, keeping the score at 1-all.
"That was a big shot," Flores said. "I hit it under too much. I lifted my foot up and that's why it went up."
However, Flores wasn't done quite yet.
Worthington's Diego Esquivel drew a foul in the box in the 57th minute, setting up a penalty kick.
A few yards closer this time, Flores scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.
"I just thought that if I missed it, they were going to come after us," Flores said. "I had to make it. I thought to myself, 'I have to make it.'
"You have to go high on free kicks and you have to go low on penalty kicks. If you place the ball good, the goalie is never going to get there. There's no way a goalie is ever going to get to the lower corner."
Even though he'd taken numerous kicks before, this shot added some pressure.
"I thought I have to make it," Flores said. "I did feel a little bit of pressure, but I'm usually kind of calm about it."
He snuck the ball into the lower corner -- just past the diving attempt of Huisken -- giving WHS a 2-1 lead.
"It's always exciting," WHS head coach Vilath Lovan said. "Southwest Christian and Worthington, it's always a good game."
In the final minutes, both teams tried to push for one final goal. But neither offense could score, giving the Trojans the victory.
"Overall, we had good hustle and good intensity," SWC head coach Leland Vanderaa said. "Our defense has been strong. In practice, too, our defense has been strong. That's our strength this year. We've struggled scoring goals, but we're getting better. It's coming a little bit. With the defense, I'm very pleased, I like what they do."
On the opposite side of the field, Lovan wasn't pleased with his offense heading into Thursday's game at Central Minnesota Christian.
"We are just giving the ball away," the coach said. "We play too wide. When we get the ball, we panic and we kick the ball away. They have five defenders against two of ours.
"I think we had more opportunities than they did. Every game, we struggle to put them away and that's going to haunt us. It's going to get harder and harder and harder if we don't finish."
Worthington 0 2 -- 2
Southwest Christian 0 1 -- 1