LIMA — Lima Central Catholic was looking to get off to a good start.
So LCC’s Sydney Santaguida did what she does best: She fired the ball into the net.
Santaguida scored two goals in the first 10 minutes and ended up with a three-goal hat trick in LCC’s 5-1 girls soccer victory over Lima Senior Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
The senior Santaguida’s three goals give her nine on the year and 73 for her career.
It marks LCC’s fifth win in a row, as the T-Birds stand 6-2-1. Lima Senior is 3-4-1.
“We were excited for this game,” Santaguida said. “It’s a fun game to play. We know most of those girls.”
LCC, going with the wind, led 4-0 at the half and then cruised home in the second half.
“We came out and we were ready to attack quickly,” LCC coach Mike Santaguida said. “Two years ago we let them hang around with us and we wanted to jump on them right away.”
LCC outshot Lima Senior 17-8, including 11-1 in the first half. LCC goalkeeper Madison Stolly had four saves for the T-Birds. Essence Cowan had six saves for Lima Senior.
With 31:33 left in the first half, Santaguida came up with a loose ball near midfield and dribbled all the way down the center of the field. She fired a strike into the net from 8-yards out to make it 1-0.
Then, 15 seconds later, at 31:18, Santaguida settled the ball at the 20-yard line and rifled a 30-yard strike into the upper corner of the net to make it 2-0.
“I think I stepped in front of a pass (to set up the second goal),” Santaguida said. “They ended up falling back because of the last play of going one-on-one. They fell back and I’ve been working on my shot from far out. The wind played the ball nicely.”
Coach Santaguida said of his daughter, Sydney, “She does a good job for us, but it takes everyone around her, too.”
LCC made it 3-0 on a shot from Emma Baumgartner from 12-yards out on a nice pass into the box by Cameron Rice. That came with 18:39 left in the first half.
Frankie Bowersock scored from near the top of the box with 17:46 left in the half and it was 4-0 T-Birds.
Kayleigh Twining scored off a ricochet shot and save by LCC’s Stolly to get Lima Senior within 4-1 with 26 minutes to go.
Santaguida got her third goal on a low liner from just outside the box with 2:45 to go. That finished the game off at 5-1.
Outside of the Spartans’ lone goal, the LCC defense held tight. LCC senior sweeper Tatum Wise had 13 stops in the back.
“Our defense is really good at getting a body in front when someone’s coming,” Wise said.
Said coach Santaguida, “Tatum’s always plays nice on the back line. I don’t see many girls who are going to outrun her.”
LCC is hoping for a strong tournament run. It’s two losses have come to state-ranked Bath and Sidney Lehman Catholic.
“This is a great year for us,” Wise said. “We have a great defense and a great offense. I have high hopes for this season.”