DUNLAP – The Warsaw girls soccer team will get to enjoy a day off from practice Friday.
They earned the much deserved break Thursday night after earning a hard-fought win at Concord.
The Tigers put forth a tremendous effort to blank the hosts 1-0 in a key Northern Lakes Conference match.
The Warsaw squad, which handed the Minutemen their first league loss of the season, left out a huge post game cheer when coach Peter Lucht informed them that there is no practice tomorrow, which is Homecoming.
“This was just an impressive whole team effort for us tonight,” said Lucht. “I’m just grateful to coach these girls and I’m so proud of them. They are great players with great character.
“The wanted this win and came out here tonight and fought for each other and for every inch. They showed great hustle and spirit tonight. They played a full 80 minutes and left it all out there on the field.”
The Tigers had several opportunities to light up the scoreboard in the first 20 minutes. Standout Brooklyn Jackson, one of seven seniors, had a blast bang off the crossbar almost midway through the opening half.
Warsaw kept the pressure on Concord and was quick to the ball all half long in the cold and wet conditions.
The Tigers broke free with 10:55 to go in the opening half. Senior Clair Snodgrass put her foot to a corner kick that somehow curled past the Concord keeper and the near post for the 1-0 lead.
“It may not be scripted like that, but we’ll take it,” said Lucht of the goal.
Concord thought that they had scored the equalizer with just 4:15 to play. A goal off a free kick by Jacquelyn DeShone was disallowed however after the official called contact by a Concord player with Warsaw in the box.
“It was our whole team defense that did it tonight,” remarked Lucht. “It was just unselfish effort by everyone. Selfless play. We changed some things tonight.
“Concord is a great team and we figured that they would come out with guns blazing in that second half. We had to look at it like it was still 0-0 and keep pressing.”
Warsaw outshot the Minutemen 8-6 in the win. Senior keeper Gabby Herman notched the shutout for the Tigers and had four saves.
The Tigers, who were sectional champions in 2013, improve to 5-1 overall and go to 3-1 in NLC action. Warsaw’s lone loss was a 2-0 setback to NLC foe Goshen.
Concord, which returns 15 letter winners from last year’s sectional championship team, drops to 4-3-1 overall and 3-1 in league play. Concord still has to play Goshen and Northridge in NLC action.
Concord won the junior varsity match by a 3-0 final Thursday. The Warsaw JV squad is now 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the NLC.
Warsaw plays at Fort Wayne Northrop on Monday. Concord will take part in the LaVille Invitational on Saturday.