LIMA — Lima Central Catholic dominated Saturday’s Division III girls soccer sectional final against Crestview at Spartan Stadium, winning 7-0.
The Thunderbirds outshot the Knights 18-0.
“We have been working on our defense lately. We had some struggles earlier this season, especially asking our seniors on the back line to step up,” LCC head coach Mike Santaguida said. “Our back line has been passing very well to begin our offense. We have been able to bring our outsides forward to help us out offensively; that has made us more effective there.”
Because the T-Birds (10-5-1) were about to hold down the Knights’ attack, they could mount an effective offensive attack on the other end.
They needed 5:47 to get on the board first. After Crestview’s defense failed to clear the ball from in front of the net, Jessica Wilker got control and fired a 25-yarder on the right wing, ricocheting it off goalkeeper Mckenna Thompson’s (11 saves) hands and into the net for a 1-0 edge.
LCC kept attacking regularly and went up 2-0 at 21:49 of the first half. Off a ricochet shot from the right side by Annika Wilker, Avery Rice got control and found home from 12 yards.
Wilker made it 3-0 at the 15:53 mark of the first half. On the left side, she got control and fired a 16-yarder that again eluded the goalkeeper’s hands and found the net.
That score stood until the 37:43 mark of the second half when Wilker scored. Along the right post, she went inside that post from 15 yards for a 4-0 spread.
At 30:03 of the second half, Wilker completed a hat trick. From 18 yards on the right wing, she beat Thompson for a 5-0 edge.
At the 28-minute mark, Crestview was called for a handball in the box and Peyton Craig took the penalty kick low and hard to the left side of the net for a 6-0 lead.
That led to a running clock the rest of the way.
Rice tacked on the final score at 26:05, going over the top from the left side 15 yards out.
“We connected better the second half than the first half. We were simply trying to score the first half and running away from the ball too much,” Santaguida said. “We began to anticipate our runs better the second half; we saw the field better. Again, we started to make the better passes inside the 18 and set up better shots for ourselves. We controlled the action on both ends.”
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