LIMA — With Lima Senior’s girls soccer squad only able to use 10 players, the Spartans were hard-pressed to withstand Lima Central Catholic’s onslaught Saturday afternoon non-league clash on the turf at Spartan Stadium.
The Thunderbirds owned the shots on-goal 25-0 en route to a 10-0 shutout.
The Spartans (2-12-0) had very few chances to mount an effective offensive attack against the Thunderbird (9-6-0) defense.
“We wanted to focus on good passing and ball control today. We also wanted to use our younger players as much as we could today,” LCC head coach Mike Santaguida said. “We focused more on making the extra one or two passes inside the 18 (the box) instead of focusing on scoring. We want the younger players to work on things they have been practicing on all season when they get in there.”
Spartans head coach Hunter Vermillion has been focused on building up the basics of his charges in 2018.
“We’ve been stressing the fundamentals and basics of the game this season. This is my first year and it will be a few years when we finally have some better numbers,” Vermillion said. “We have a third- and fourth-grade team and from fifth through seventh grade, we have a co-ed team, so it will be a while. Actually, the girls feel better when they are down one because they feel they play better.”
The Thunderbirds got on board at the 32:12 mark of the opening half when Annika Wilker made a good run down the middle and nearing the goal, fired a 14-yarder to the left side for a 1-0 lead.
At 28:24, off a steal, Wilker again got possession and fired a 15-yarder over the top of goalkeeper Jenna Wentling for a 2-0 advantage.
At 26:42, Sophia Santaguida nailed a 15-yarder from the left wing over the top for a 3-0 lead.
Almost 10 minutes later – 16:18 – Avery Rice made a run down the middle and her 12-yarder found the right side of the net for a 4-0 edge.
Just 48 seconds later, off an assist from Josie Mohler, Jessica Wilker found the net from 16 yards away for a 5-0 lead.
At 12:32, LCC closed first-half scoring off a ricochet off the goalkeeper’s hands, with Peyton Craig finding the mark from six yards away.
With a running clock starting the second half, LCC added a seventh goal at 33:22 when Annika Wilker made it a hat trick from 18 yards that found the inside of the left post from that wing against backup goalkeeper Taylor Washington.
“We didn’t notice they only played 10 until the national anthem. We came in not worrying about it,” senior Jessica Wilker said. “We came in with the intent to not just kick and chase but to pass well and possess the ball. We love playing on turf; we can use our speed to our advantage and usually, it’s an advantage for us because our opponent isn’t used to it and doesn’t know how fast it is.”
LCC made it an eight-goal lead at 32:10 when Kitt Slatkosky connected on a cross pass from the right side to Jenna Rose and she was good from 14 yards.
At 10:52 of the second half, Rice launched a 17-yarder from the left wing that went over the top for a 9-0 lead.
LCC closed the scoring at 2:10 when Sophia Luchini connected with Isabella John for a 14-yarder.
LCC goalkeepers Slatkosky and Madalena Knotts combined for the shutout, facing no shots on goal.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.