VALPARAISO | With leading scorer Kaylee Pullins watching from the sideline with a boot on her foot, the Valparaiso girls soccer team put on a scoring clinic for its injured senior.
Seniors Gabe Hinding and Andrea Violanti and junior Lauren Reineke scored two goals apiece as the Vikings kicked off their season with a 10-0 victory over LaPorte.
“Our girls were really excited for the season to start, and I think that showed tonight,” Valparaiso coach Rob Cespedes said. “We had a lot of girls step up. Our girls will be covering for each other all year.”
Hinding got the season off to a positive start when she found the back of the net just over a minute into the match. The senior forward added her second goal shortly after junior Amy Martin put another mark on the board.
“Both goals came as a result of me being in the right place at the right time and my teammates getting me the ball,” Hinding said. “I have to give all the credit for them. With the way we play, it doesn’t matter who scores. We’re a very unselfish team and all that matters is that we get the win.”
Scoring could’ve been a concern with Pullins on the sideline and star Kate Johnson lost to graduation from last season, but the Vikings displayed a deep team Tuesday night.
“We have some girls that are filling some new roles and taking on some new responsibilities,” Hinding said. “Seniors always have the mentality that they have one more year, and right now we have 10 seniors who are thinking that.”
Pullins is expected to return next week for the Vikings (1-0, 1-0 DAC), and that only will add to the experienced squad that is hoping for a deep postseason run this season.
“The amount of experience we have is great,” Cespedes said. “We’ve been through a lot of matches, a lot of different tournaments. These players are just ready to get this thing started.”