SYRACUSE — The Lady Warriors soccer team kicked off its season Monday night at home against Lakeland with a starting lineup that included four freshmen and boasted only three seniors. It was anyone’s guess at what to expect in the team’s first action of the year. But the concern of so much youth and lack of upperclassmen experience was put to rest in the early minutes of the game. Two goals from two newcomers were all Wawasee needed to beat Lakeland, 2-0.Wawasee senior Lexy Blunk got things going when she broke away and cut through the Laker defense, finding freshman Hannah Thompson who did not let her senior captain down. Thompson finished off Blunk’s pass by slipping the ball past Lakeland’s goalie Jessica Hoover to give the Lady Warriors the lead in only the fourth minute of play.
While quiet the rest of the night on the stat sheet, Blunk was all over the field for Wawasee making plays and causing problems for the visiting Lakers.
Wawasee was able to control the field for an overwhelming part of the first half thanks to good ball movement from Blunk but also from some new faces to the program. Freshmen Sarah Lancaster and Thompson were two of the biggest problems for Lakeland’s defense in the first half.
Both of the proverbial young guns were able to put pressure on Lakeland defenders several times, the two freshmen accounted for two more shots on goal in addition to Thompson’s first half goal. Junior Priscilla Par was a constant presence in Lakeland territory as well.
But Wawasee’s first half success would be lost if it were not for great defensive play from the Lady Warriors. Senior goalie Jordan Edington had three first half saves, including a diving one-handed stop on an attempt from Lakeland freshmen Elexus Holmes.
Wawasee’s second half was highlighted by a goal from yet another underclassman. Sophomore Tori Sylvester gave the Lady Warriors a 2-0 advantage in the forty-sixth minute of play after receiving a well-placed pass from senior Cassie Martinez.
Wawasee was able to hold off Lakeland’s scoring attempts in the second half with threemore saves from Edington accompanied by more stellar defense from the young roster including several timely clearances from McKenzie Schmitt and Catilin Clevenger.
Wawasee finished the game with a total of 16 shots on goal and held Lakeland to only seven. After the game the Lady Warriors head coach, John Blunk, was all smiles when talking about his team’s performance starting his interview out with a laugh and a simple quote, “We won.”
And while coach Blunk was happy for the team’s victory, he made it clear that their attention had to be moved to the two matches they have coming up later this week. Blunk went on to say that, “We had a freshman score a goal, a sophomore score a goal and two seniors with the assists, so, I’m happy, again, we won.”The Lady Warriors will look to make winning a trend on Wednesday night when they travel to West Noble High School to take on the Chargers at 5pm.