OTTOVILLE – Lima Central Catholic’s girls soccer team seems to be hitting its stride.
That was shown in its contest versus Ottoville in Division III District action Wednesday afternoon.
The Thunderbirds controlled most of the contest in a 5-0 victory.
“We had beaten them 8-1 the first game of the season and we knew they would play us tougher this time. It took us a while to get used to the field and their play but once we did, we were fine,” LCC head coach Mike Santaguida said. “They marked us pretty well for the first few minutes of the game. They knew who our good players were. Our defense has been playing very well the last four or five games. We have been playing with a lot of confidence on that end. When we were up 2-0 at the half, we talked about the need to not let them get any momentum when we came back out and we didn’t give them many openings at the goal, especially the second half.”
The Big Green had its shots on-goal in the first half – all three of them for the match.
At 30:40, freshman Alyson Saxton’s 12-yarder from the left wing was denied by LCC’s sophomore goalkeeper Kitt Siatkosky.
At 25:40, Nicole Knippen’s 20-yard shot was gobbled up by Siatkosky.
The Big Green’s last shot on-goal of the match came at 6:10 as Kasey Knippen’s try from the right side was turned back by the goalkeeper.
LCC began to assert its control of the proceedings as the first half wore on.
At 22:01, Jenna Rose fired a 15-yarder that Big Green keeper Ashlee Landin (9 saves versus 14 shots on-goal) turned back.
Their next shot found its mark. At 16:45, Annika Wilker fired a 20-yarder from the middle over the top and into the back of the net for a 1-0 scoreboard.
At 8:50, LCC had a chance to go up by two goals as Jessica Wilker tried a 30-yarder that Landin deflected off the left post and finally got control.
At 7:21, LCC went up 2-0. Annika Wilker again found the mark, knocking home a 25-yarder from the middle.
The Thunderbirds dominated the second half in shots on-goal 8-0.
With their defense putting the clamps on the Ottoville offense, they could pick apart the clearly tiring Big Green as the second half went on.
With 33:24 left in the match, Jenna Rose went over the top from 22 yards and into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
At 28:31, LCC’s Sophia Santaguida made it a 4-0 contest. Outside the right post, she went opposite 18 yards out.
Finally, at 6:21, Avery Rice – off of a steal deep in the Ottoville defensive end – got control and beat Landin from 12 yards to the right side.
“We have a lot of weapons. We had four different girls score tonight,” Santaguida said. “Some of the shots we took were simply amazing; when we are moving the ball as well as we did tonight, it’s going to be difficult for an opponent to deal with us. Avery has been in our lineup four years and the way she sees the field is amazing. The Wilkers: Jessica and Annika; are also two very good players that have a lot of soccer knowledge. They can score and set up their teammates for easier shots. It’s a lot easier to play great soccer when you can spread the ball around and share the ball well.”
The Thunderbirds (11-5-1) advance to take on Kalida at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Kalida wins in shootout
Kalida edged Spencerville after the Wildcats won in a shootout to advance to the district finals against Lima Central Catholic