MERRILLVILLE — Sometimes a team just takes some time to jel.
Times No. 6 Munster opened the season with two losses and a tie at the South Bend St. Joseph Indian Invite, beat Portage and then lost at state power Penn.
Since then, the Mustangs are 2-0-1 and have outscored opponents 10-1.
“In South Bend St. Joe we played a lot of hard teams, and we had a little bit of trouble with the formation but we’ve kind of switched it up a little bit,” senior Olivia Foley said. “This game today helped because we were able to keep the intensity up for the whole game and that’s really going to help moving forward.”
Foley tallied two goals as the Mustangs bested No. 10 Andrean 4-0 in a Northwest Crossroads Conference meeting Tuesday on Broadway.
“I had some girls stepped up that hadn’t stepped up before,” Munster coach Val Pflum said. “(Andrean) is a good program. They graduated a lot of kids. We graduated a lot of kids. We’re still trying to figure it out.”
The Mustangs (3-3-2, 2-0) controlled the game from the first whistle. Munster kept the ball in the Andrean defensive third for much of the first half, but didn’t have much to show for it until near the break.
“We didn’t play fast enough. We’re still working on the speed of our game,” Pflum said. “We picked it up and when we did, the holes started to show a little bit. We’re still really working on the speed of play.”
The Mustangs got on the scoreboard with a goal by Abigail Nita in the 31st minute. About four minutes later, Foley notched her first goal on a cross from Brenna Dyrhaug.
“I was yelling a lot for the whole first half,” Foley said. “She finally heard me and played a really good ball. She gave me just enough space and I was just like ‘OK, just got to hit it.’”
The 59ers marked Adeline Andello for most of the night, keeping the Munster striker off the scoreboard.
“At some point we had to pick a player that we thought we were going to mark and see if that would disrupt them enough to get us some offensive chances,” 59ers coach Jeff Clapman said. “That part, we executed perfectly. If we could’ve got one (goal) somewhere along the line, that may have changed things for us.”
Freshman Carson Kekelik added Munster’s third goal five minutes into the second half. Foley then scored her second.
Andrean never put a shot on goal. The loss puts the 59ers (3-2-1, 0-2) in a hole in the NCC standings. Bri Houpt had 10 saves for Andrean.
“It’s rough (to be 0-2 in the conference). It really is,” Clapman said. “But it is what it is. We’ve got to pay them and hopefully these two teams in front of us stumble a little bit.”