WINONA LAKE – After a rocky start, Lakeland Christian Academy recovered to beat North Miami, 5-2, Saturday in the girls soccer opener for both clubs.
In the fifth minute, North Miami struck first. Just 18 seconds later, LCA resolved the goal with one of its own when Jessi Calizo carved through three defenders and ripped a shot into the net for the first Cougar goal of the season. Tori Calizo gave LCA the lead for good with a goal and a 2-1 lead, and Jessi would make it 3-1 before the Warriors got one back to make it 3-2 at the half.
Anna Reimink would give LCA back its two-goal cushion with a strike off the feed of Tori Calizo, who ended the scoring with a free kick goal to wrap up the scoring.
Hannah Hall and Emily Bahney had the two first-half goals for North Miami.
LCA was tabbed with 36 shots on goal in the match to just nine for North Miami. Maddie Paris collected seven saves for the Cougars while Madison France was under siege for the Warriors, having to make 31 stops.
“It was good to get a win as it took four games last year for us to tally our first one,” said LCA coach Nat Raber. “The team played well. Definitely some things to work on, but overall they all played very well. I still can’t stand giving up a goal in the first five minutes of a game but it is hard to get angry when the team responds the way they did.
“Jessi Calizo, younger sister of Tori, was great in her first game for Lakeland as a freshman. The thing I was most impressed with was the half time adjustment the team made. As a coach you can point that stuff out but it is up to the team to change it on the field. We had great play from out back line as only nine shots made it on goal. It was a great team win and something to build off of.”
Next up for LCA is an away test Tuesday at Bethany Christian, a 5:30 p.m. start.