By Mike Deak
WINONA LAKE – For much of the first 74 minutes of the lid lifter for Lakeland Christian’s girls soccer program, they were knocking on the door.
Keely Bauer finally let the Cougars in.
Bauer broke the scoreless tie in the 74th minute and potted insurance three minutes later as LCA was able to escape North Miami in a 2-0 result Saturday morning.
Bauer fired a set piece from the top of the 18, hitting a defender and watching the carom float into the net for paydirt. Her second tally was a lofting shot that ambled its way into the goal as LCA sent 10 total shots on net, but only were able to strike late.
Finley Hobbs wasn’t under much pressure from the visitors, making four stops in goal but none that required full exertion.
“I wasn’t unhappy with how we played today,” began LCA head coach Nat Raber. “We generated a lot of shots and kept a clean sheet. Our defense covered very well and every time I thought we were in trouble, they hustled to stop the rush.”
North Miami did enough to stifle LCA’s Jessi Calizo. The junior forward played up top for the first time without the security of her sister, Tori, who is now a freshman with the Grace College women’s soccer program. While the younger Calizo was able to find a lot of space in the Warrior defensive third, double and triple teams kept Calizo from uncorking any real dangerous opportunities.
Liza Schmitt added a pair of shots on target and as did Joy Hanes for the hosts.
“I was very pleased with the perseverance they showed,” added Raber. “We have some things to clean up but I am excited for this season and even more excited that we get to play this game during uncertain times.”