MICHIGAN CITY | Times No. 2 Valparaiso knows every Duneland Athletic Conference game is important, and Tuesday's matchup at No. 9 Michigan City was no different.
"There hasn't been one easy DAC game," Valparaiso coach Rob Cespedes said. "Every conference game is tough. We had to make sure we came out strong."
The Vikings got off to a bit of a slow start, getting whistled for two offside calls in the opening minutes of match, but they responded in plenty of time for a 6-0 win.
Jenelle Klumpe scored 13 minutes into the game for Valparaiso (4-1, 1-1). Klumpe's original shot hit the crossbar, but she recovered the rebound and slid the ball into the left side of the net. Five minutes later, Kate Johnson made it 2-0, the cushion Valpo took to the break against the Wolves (2-3, 0-3).
The Vikings outshot the Wolves 30-0. Numerous times, potential scores hit the crossbar or just barely missed the goal.
"Those are things we're still working on, our accuracy," Cespedes said. "We had some real quality shots."
The Vikings carried their momentum into the second half, as Kaylee Pullins scored twice to extend the lead to 4-0.
Gabriel Hinding picked up the first two varsity goals of her career in the final eight minutes to end the scoring. Hinding floated a free-kick attempt into the goal to make it 5-0. Then with a few seconds remaining in the game, she sent a shot into the left side of the net.
"At first, I was hesitant to take (the free kick)," Hinding said, "but I felt confident in my ability to take it. I was so glad that it went in."
"That (first goal) was really fun, and I thought I might as well try to shoot the ball again. I've been working on my left-foot goals in practice, and then it went in."
Cespedes was happy to see Hinding contribute.
"Her placement on the field made her stand out today," Cespedes said. "She also did great passing."
Michigan City goalkeeper Betsy Carpenter had 14 saves before she was replaced by Paige Tharp halfway through the second half, when a ball hit Carpenter's hand.
"It was almost like we played without a midfield today," Michigan City coach Stephanie Dege said. "The momentum could have changed in the second half, but we didn't have anyone step up to lead the team."