VALPARAISO | Offensive -- that's what Valparaiso was Tuesday night.
The Vikings bombarded Merrillville with 20 shots on goal, eight of which found their way into the Pirates' net. That scoring barrage, which was fueled by two-goal performances from Kate Johnson and Andrea Violanti, carried Valpo to an 8-0 win over Merrillville.
Johnson tallied in the 11th minute, Violanti added her first goal 10 minutes later, and the rout was on.
"Andrea's a great player," Johnson said. "She's very versatile and creates a lot of opportunities (to score)."
Kaylee Pullins added another goal in the 23rd minute to give the Vikings (5-1, 3-1) a 3-0 lead going into halftime. Valpo's offense kept creating opportunities in the second half while its defense held Merrillville without a shot on goal throughout the evening.
Mallory Held extended the Vikings' lead to 4-0 seven minutes into the second half. Violanti then scored again off a pass from Johnson in the 63rd minute.
"We really connected today," Violanti said of herself and Johnson "We've been playing each other's positions, and we've just been learning off that. It worked really well today."
"(Johnson and Violanti) are playing well off each other and are connecting on the field," Valpo coach Rob Cespedes said.
Johnson added her second goal of the night after Pirates keeper Jaleesa Holmes again came out of the net, giving the Vikings a 6-0 lead.
The Vikings added two more goals with less than three minutes to go. Gabriel Hinding scored off a penalty kick and Grace Withrow recorded the final score with 1:29 left to play.
"The team played very well," Cespedes said. "We really made an offensive attack today, and we had a lot of opportunities with some nice shots on goal."
Holmes had 12 saves on the night for the Pirates, who fell to 3-5 (1-3).
"(Holmes) handled them really well," Merrillville coach Ben Daniel said. "It's her first year on varsity, and she's been a life-saver this season. She's one of the few bright spots on the team.
"Valpo's a good team and we just weren't prepared. There's still a lot to learn and, hopefully, we can take theses loses and learn from them."