MUNSTER — Nobody likes a tie.
Both sidelines seemed unsatisfied after Times No. 5 Lake Central and No. 6 Munster finished 80 minutes of intense nonconference play knotted 1-1.
“There’s no sense in this game in playing to tie. We’re playing to win,” L.C. coach Shawn Thomas said. “I want the girls to be creative, be courageous and they showed that I think. I was proud of them.”
Late in the first half, Lake Central Alexis Munoz was given a red card for kicking Munster’s Adeline Andello away from the ball. The Indians spent the entire second half down a player.
“Obviously, the fans were riled up and had the kids riled up and we started to see more and more aggressive play,” Thomas said. “It leads to that sometimes, so that’s unfortunate.”
Munoz will miss the Indians’ next game against Bishop Noll.
Thomas never packed in his defense, instead choosing to just play with one fewer forward.
“We talked about not backing off as much as we were, not letting them get the turn and putting the continuous pressure on them so that their option wasn’t forward, their option was out,” Munster coach Valerie Pflum said.
The game remained chippy for almost the duration, possibly fueled by boisterous student sections.
“I think that the game was way more physical than what we’ve played even against the state champions (Penn),” Pflum said. “So, it was very difficult to get a rhythm of any sort. Their method of play definitely messed with our rhythm.”
Munster’s been run through a gauntlet early in the season, playing four teams ranked in the top 12 in the state in their respective classes by the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association.
“We need that fire in the belly. It’s just been a hard beginning of the season with who we’ve played,” Pflum said. “Our focus is Oct. 1, because that’s when it starts to be do or die.”
Naumoski put Lake Central (6-2-1) in front in the fourth minute with a shot from about 30 yards. The shot, with significant bend, took one hop and got under the hands of Munster goalie Grace Helmer.
“I felt like they were chasing us the whole game,” Thomas said. “I told the girls to play to win, not play to not lose. And they did that.”
Munster (2-3-2) evened things up in the 60th minute with a long goal by Olivia Foley. The Mustangs senior took a ricochet off a Lake Central player and pushed a shot from about 40 yards.