LAPORTE | Grace Withrow and Rachael Greenawald ensured the Valparaiso girls soccer team got its season off to a quick start.
The duo each scored two goals in the game's first 14 minutes to put the match out of reach as the Times No. 1 Vikings beat LaPorte 7-0 in Tuesday night’s season and Duneland Conference opener for both teams.
Withrow converted a penalty kick opportunity she created for herself in the fourth minute, and she made it 3-0 in the 10th minute on a shot from 15 yards out that beat LaPorte keeper Tiarra Spikes into the lower corner of the net.
“One (goal) is never enough,” Withrow said. “We just keep going. We try not to let up and keep our intensity up. We try to play the full 80 minutes of every game.”
She later added a goal late in the second half to finish with a hat trick.
Greenawald put the Vikings on the board 0:55 into the match. She put the rebound of a shot from Ashley Thomas past Spikes.
“We were hoping that right at the beginning the girls would gel together and generate something, and within 55 seconds it happened,” said Valparaiso coach Rob Cespedes.
Greenawald added a goal in the 14th minute to put the Vikings ahead 4-0.
Valparaiso (1-0, 1-0 DAC) kept up the offensive pressure all game long. The Vikings recorded 19 shots on goal while holding the Slicers to just one.
“We wanted the girls more than anything, whatever opportunities they had to capitalize on them,” Cespedes said. “It worked really well.”
Lauren Reineke and Lexie Ferngren each added goals for the Vikings.
Spikes made 12 saves for the Slicers (0-1, 0-1).
Withrow, Ingrid Wagner and Gigi Jarratt each tallied assists for Valparaiso.