VALPARAISO | Andrea Violanti knew that Saturday's game was important to her team.
Little did she know, it would be an important game for her soccer career, as the sophomore from Valparaiso had her first hat trick.
"(After the second goal) I was like, 'It's cool', but after the third I was pumped," Violanti said, as Valparaiso beat Wheeler 5-0 for its 12th sectional title.
The Vkings (13-4-2) will meet Chesterton in the Portage Regional on Wednesday.
In the 26th minute, Violanti scored her first goal as the ball slid past Wheeler goalkeeper Christina Gandy. The Vikings took the 1-0 lead into halftime.
"In the first half, we were happy we were possessing the ball," Valparaiso coach Rob Cespedes said. "In the second half, we were taking shots earlier and our shots were more on target."
Violanti added her second goal seven minutes into the second half, and a minute later Regan Weber scored off a Kate Johnson re-start.
"It was sectionals, and we had to come out strong," Violanti said.
With 20 minutes left in the game, Violanti scored her third goal. Jana Banschbach capped the scoring.
Gandy had nine saves, but the Bearcats could only manage one shot on goal.
"We played really well in the first half. (Valparaiso's) a big, physical team," Wheeler coach Todd Syren said, whose team finishes with a school best record of 13-2-3.
Valparaiso's next challenge is avenging an early-season 2-1 loss to Chesterton.
"They're a good team, and we're looking forward to the opportunity to play them again," Cespedes said.