Wawasee played the NLC’s second-place team tough despite being unexpectedly shorthanded. Before the team’s toughest match-up to date, the ladies only had 14 players in uniform after beginning the season with 22. Three of the players were out with sickness or injury and another left the team earlier this week.
With 11 players on the field, Wawasee’s thin bench couldn’t help against a very polished Goshen roster. The home team jumped ahead in just the third minute when Karina Flores snuck the ball between Wawasee keeper Jordan Edington and the goal post to give Goshen a 1-0 lead. Gaby Romo assisted Flores on the play.
Goshen struck just four minutes later when Martha Castillo found Maddie Birky, and Birky found the back of the net. In the games tenth minute, Jessica Oyer put in a difficult shot to put Goshen up 3-0 with an assist from Miranda Kay.
“Our goal was to come out and get on the board early, and we did just that,” said Lady Redskin head coach Dan Graber, who was pleased with his team’s effort all around. “Our possession game has just been on recently.”
While the scoreboard showed total control from the Lady Redskins, the story in the early parts of the first half was Wawasee’s lack of execution. The Lady Warriors had three shots on goal that could have changed momentum but failed to make anything happen.
The Lady Warriors kept tight defense on Goshen for a brief period of the first half before the Lady Redskins lit up the scoreboard again. “We have to put 40 minutes together,” coach Blunk remarked after the game. “We played an outstanding stretch of about 18 minutes in the first half but we have to put an entire game together and we’ve yet to do that.”
The Lady Redskins ended Wawasee’s stretch of good defense in the 28th minute of play when Kay tallied another assist, this time to Bryana Polomino. The home squad came right back down not even a minute later and scored with sophomore Joleen Miller.
Polomino returned to the stat sheet in the 34th minute when she scored an unassisted goal. Wawasee finished the half with just the three shots on goal while Goshen went into the locker room with an unbelievable 18 shots on goal.
Back-up keeper Nicole Streby managed to hold off any scoring until Goshen was set up with a penalty kick in the 78thminute after a hand ball in the penalty box. Romo made the kick to complete the scoring.Goshen finished the night with an eye-popping 25 shots on goal to Wawasee’s four. After the game Coach Blunk gave credit where it was due.
“That’s a really good team…the NLC is tough.” Blunk mentioned the good senior leadership Goshen had and mentioned the lack of depth on his teams bench “We don’t have the numbers or the experience to control a team like Goshen.”
The quote that stuck out the most from Blunk’s interview though also gave credit where it was due, “Our girls, they don’t quit. I love that.”
The loss drops Wawasee to 2-4-1 on the season and 0-2 in NLC competition. Goshen moves to 6-2-1 overall, 3-1-1 in the NLC.
The Wawasee ladies will take their talents to South Whitley on Wednesday to take on the Whitko Wildcats with kick-off at 5pm.