The soccer season opened in earnest Saturday for Lakeland Christian Academy, with quality results across the board.
LCA Boys 7, Oregon-Davis 0
What a start for Parker Stewart and the Cougars at home against O-D. Stewart scored twice in the first 20 minutes of the match, then tacked on goals in the 45th, 59th and a rocket in the 76th minute to cap a five-goal showcase. Stewart also fed Garrett McKeever with a clever assist in the 60th minute.
Aiden McQuade used a through ball from Brayden Lane to account for the other goal as LCA was in total control in its season opener. Lane had a pair of assists, and helpers were also credited to Alan Grossnickle and Nate Reimink.
“We have a lot of question marks and a lot of new faces that have come to the school,” LCA head coach Dan Miller said. “We lost seven starters and we’re really young. But we have Parker Stewart, and he’s one of the best players in the area, and in my opinion northern Indiana, so that’s quite a starting point for us.”
Peter Koller, a sophomore, made just three saves to collect his first clean sheet of the season. Koller is replacing Remington Swanson, part of a huge graduating class of eight seniors the Cougars are trying to replace. Stewart is part of just a four-man senior class for this LCA squad.
“Pete is young, he was an understudy to Remington last year and just needs more games to get his confidence to grow,” Miller said. “He has really good shot-stopping ability. His thing is just needing more time. This was a good confidence builder. His aggressiveness in this game was better than what I saw in our training. Obviously he wasn’t under pressure that much in the game, but he was more commanding than he has been.”
LCA (1-0) visit Elkhart Christian Academy Tuesday evening.
LCA Girls 6, North Miami 0
Meanwhile down in Denver, LCA began its girls campaign with a lopsided win at North Miami.
A 15-1 advantage in shots afforded LCA plenty of chances to assert itself, and the sister duo of Tori and Jessi Calizo were to the task. Jessi found first blood from a feed by Tori to get the Lady Cougars on the board quickly in the first half. A strike by Tori before the break had LCA up 2-0, and another tally by the senior Tori had LCA up 3-0 just seconds into the second half.
Joy Hanes would provide the assist on the second Tori Calizo goal, then fed Jessi for the sophomore Calizo’s second goal. Tori finished off her hat trick on a Keely Bauer assist, then Bauer converted a penalty try late in the second half to round out the scoring.
Finley Hobbs got her first career goalkeeping win and subsequent shutout by making just the one save. Shelby Walker made nine stops for North Miami.
After winning the school’s first sectional title last fall – a first for any LCA sport as an IHSAA member school – head coach Nat Raber reflected on the sterling opening effort.
“For the first time in forever we didn’t look like we started slow,” noted Raber. “I challenged the girls to adapt to a different style of play than last year as we lost six seniors and they responded well. It was a good win and we have some things to clean up, but not bad for a first game. Proud of our defense for not giving up many shots and when they did, it came from distance.”
LCA (1-0) will host Bethany Christian Tuesday.
Fort Wayne Carroll Boys 1, Warsaw 0
An Evan Jester strike in the second half was all it took as the visiting Chargers beat the Tigers Saturday morning.
Peyton Fosnough had the assist on the goal. On the other side of the pitch, Logan Gonzalez and the Charger defense held the Tigers to just two shots on target, Gonzalez corralling both to register the shutout.
Tedros Berelsman and Blake Burns each had a pair of shots for the Tigers while Harrison Mevis made five stops in net.
Carroll finished ranked No. 6 in the Class 3-A poll to finish last season, Warsaw 12th in the same class poll.
Warsaw (0-1) will host Argos Tuesday evening.