MERRILLVILLE | Nikko Kolintzas has played many games in travel ball and in youth soccer, but he probably didn't dream he'd make an early impact in his first varsity game for Lake Central.
The freshman forward scored the first of many goals he'll have in his career in Times No. 6 Lake Central's 4-1 opening match win over No. 4 Andrean on Monday.
However, Andrean (0-1) struck first, though, after senior midfielder Mike Gore stole the ball 10 yards outside the box, passed it to senior Mike Guetzloff, who rifled a pass over to junior midfielder Chase Dawson, easily beating Lake Central keeper Jorge Trujilo.
But just a minute later, Kolintzas would get one past 59ers' goalkeeper Chris Orozco.
"Our coaches have taught us to keep our heads in the game," said Kolintzas. "This is one I'll remember."
The 11th-minute goal is all Trujilo would allow as he stopped five shots along with his Andrean counterpart Orozco.
"Nikko is a freshman standout. I'm glad he'll be here for four years," L.C. coach Jereme Rainwater said.
The second half was totally different, as Rainwater thought his team settled down and started connecting with passes much better in the half.
The result was three second-half goals for Lake Central (1-0) including from senior midfielder Ogi Janjus and freshman midfielders Josh Ramirez and Chris Baranowski.
"We're very blessed because we started four kids who are 14-years-old. Chris and Josh are great," said Rainwater.
"We gave up too many 50-50 balls, but we moved the ball better in the second half."