Warsaw Girls 4, Northridge 2
Warsaw capped off its perfect Northern Lakes Conference season with a 4-2 win in Middlebury.
Warsaw struck first when Jordan Love took a pass from Audrey Grimm and curled it over the Northridge keeper and into the side netting. The Tigers would take the lead into the break, but the Raiders played inspired out of the half and tied the game just 30 seconds into the second stanza.
Corissa Koontz showed why she is one of the best midfielders in the area as she broke free and scored to regain the lead for the Tigers. Northridge countered within 40 seconds to tie the game for a second time.
The match remained tied 2-2 until Koontz broke free at the top of the penalty box and beat the Northridge keeper to regain the lead for Warsaw. With 2:30 left on the clock, Rylee Burns would score an insurance goal to seal the win for the visitors.
With the victory, Warsaw finishes the NLC season with a perfect 7-0 mark, and 9-5-2 overall. They return to action next Thursday night in Sectional 7 action against Fort Wayne Wayne, to be played at Homestead High School.
NorthWood Girls 3, Wawasee 0
In the final regular season game for both NLC squads, the visiting Panthers went to Syracuse and left with their sixth shutout of the season. The evening was cold and damp on Warrior Field, which seemed to make for a slow start for both squads. Injuries and COVID-19 contact tracing issues led to both teams missing key components and required them to make adjustments in their strategies and lineups.
The Warriors came out in an extremely defensive position, keeping eight players on the defensive end of the pitch in a “park the bus” formation for the entirety of the first half. The visitors finally broke through the Warrior back line in the 23rd minute when junior reserve Morgan Jenkins took a pass at the top of the six from sophomore Ari Topping and was able to sneak it by sophomore Warrior goalie Josalyn Kolberg. The goal turned out to be the only score of the first half.
In the second half, Wawasee came out in a more balanced formation in an attempt to find the equalizer. The change allowed NorthWood more room to work its passing game, which resulted in more opportunities behind the Warrior defense. It still took the Panthers 18 minutes to find their second goal when sophomore Caitlin Knepp was able to create her own shot within the 18. The ball was blocked by Kolberg, but Knepp was able to gather her own rebound and roll a second attempt into the net.
The third NorthWood tally came off a free kick opportunity in the 71st minute which Lizzie Hilderbrandt was able to convert unassisted.
NorthWood ends its regular season at 6-5-3, 2-3-2 in the NLC. The loss dropped the Warriors to 1-11-3, 0-7 in conference play. The two teams will tangle again in one week on the same pitch as they were drawn to face each other in the semifinal round of Sectional 20. The winner of that match will earn a spot in the championship game to face the survivor of the other half of the bracket, one of either Angola, Lakeland, DeKalb or West Noble.
Bremen Girls 2, Lakeland Christian Academy Girls 1
Lakeland Christian would strike first but wouldn’t be able to hold off Bremen on a dreary night in Winona Lake.
A free kick on goal from Liza Schmitt would deflect to Jessi Calizo, who banged in the first goal of the match. Bremen would counter with a pair of goals later in the first half to take a 2-1 lead into the break. Neither team would find success in the second half.
LCA was playing its first contest since Sept. 19 after COVID protocols canceled matches with Maconaquah and Culver.
“It was just good to be playing again,” stated LCA head coach Nat Raber. “After canceling games and being without six of our players for the past ten days, it was great to have the full roster. I saw a joy from my players tonight that I haven’t seen in a while even though the conditions were rough. Very happy to play a game before sectionals.”
LCA (3-7-2) will take on Westview Tuesday at the Elkhart Christian Sectional.
Rochester Boys 7, Tippecanoe Valley 2
Valley hosted Rochester in a rematch to close out the regular season. The Zebras won the first game, 4-2 and tonight on a windy, rainy cold night won the second 7-2. Rochester led 5-0 by halftime as they consistently frustrated Valley with possession and excellent midfield play.
The Vikings played hard and managed to stay even with the Zebras in the second half. Christian Ramirez and Alexis Hernandez scored the goals for the now 4-8-2 Vikings. Valley will now get ready for their sectional semifinal match against state power Fort Wayne Concordia next week.
NorthWood Boys 6, Bethany Christian 1
Panther star forward Andre DeFreitas broke his own single-season scoring record with four goals on the evening, bringing his 2020 tally to 25. Teammate Sebastian Guillen added two goals of his own, giving him 20 for the campaign. Chandler Bontrager and Kayden Newcomer each was credited with two assists while DeFreitas and Cam Iwema each earned one.
The win moves the Panthers overall record to 10-3-3 on the season. They will square off with Lakeland in game one of Sectional 20, which will be contested at West Noble.
Plymouth Boys 8, Wawasee 2
The Warriors traveled to No. 8 Plymouth Thursday night and hung with the powerful Pilgrims for the first 60 minutes of the match.
The hosts held a 2-1 advantage at halftime and 3-2 with 20 minutes left to play when the floodgates opened and Plymouth netted five more goals before the final whistle.
Warrior goals were scored by Caleb Clevenger in the first half off a free kick and Jace MIshler in the second half off a corner kick assist delivered by Alec Wortinger.
“It was close and a great game,” said Wawasee head coach Jordan Sharp. “After a no-PK call and a red card (for arguing) we were gassed. We played them tough and hard. I’m proud of our boys.”
Wawasee will next take the pitch against West Noble in Sectional 20 action, to be played on the Chargers home pitch in Ligonier at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5.
Northridge Boys 1, Warsaw 0
Drew Pletcher had the only goal of the match, which was played in Warsaw. The win moves No. 5 Northridge to 14-1-1 on the season. The loss drops the Tigers to 2-10-3 overall, 1-5-1 in the NLC. They will face Concord in the semifinal of Sectional 4, to be played at Penn High School next Wednesday.