ST. JOHN | Lake Central needed this one.
The Times No. 1 Indians came into the season with big expectations, but lost three of their first four against top-level competition. However, L.C. cruised to an easy 6-0 win over No. 8 Michigan City in a Duneland Athletic Conference match Tuesday night.
"When you have to start with Crown Point and then you go to Carmel, it definitely sets our ego back," Indians coach Lori Smith said. "From there, it's a matter of building ourselves up and doing what we can."
The Wolves kept Lake Central at bay at the start of the game.
"We've got to amp up our defense a bit and work on clearing the ball and staying on our feet," M.C. coach Stephanie Dege said. "We've got too many tough teams in the DAC to have small mistakes hurt us."
The Indians had several early chances, putting seven shots on goal in the first 15 minutes. Heather Olson finally opened the scoring for L.C. (2-3, 1-1) in the 18th minute with a rebound goal.
"As soon as that first goal went in, for about the next 15 minutes, we just played like we were beat," Dege said. "Mentally, we can't do that."
It took another 18 minutes for Lake Central to score again. Tina Mijevic found an opening in a scrum on a corner kick and bounced it by City keeper Betsy Carpenter. The Indians took a 2-0 lead into the second half.
Every healthy player on the Lake Central roster saw the field before the break.
"The more girls that can get in, the better," Smith said. "We have some younger girls trying to get some experience on varsity, and getting them comfortable is definitely nice."
Taylor Shoemake, Lyana Burrink, Jillian Doan and Shannon Freedom each notched a score in the second half for the Indians. Michelle Wartman had the assist on Freedom's goal.
"It's very nice to have a group of girls who can score instead of just one person that you're always going to," Smith said. "One day it might be one player, but another day it might be somebody else stepping it up."
L.C. outshot the Wolves 25-1 in the game and controlled the ball for the duration of the contest.
Carpenter had nine saves before being pulled in the final 10 minutes.