Warsaw junior Liz VanWormer moves the ball toward the goal as Rylee Beck of NorthWood comes from behind with verbal defense. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Warsaw junior Liz VanWormer moves the ball toward the goal as Rylee Beck of NorthWood comes from behind with verbal defense. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
A week and a half ago, Warsaw’s varsity girls soccer team opened the season with a 1-0 win over state power Mishawaka Marian.
Playing their first match in 10 days, the Lady Tigers opened Northern Lakes Conference play in impressive fashion Thursday, as they hosted and defeated NorthWood 4-0.
“I know they’re dealing with injuries,” Warsaw coach Peter Lucht said of the Lady Panthers. “I don’t want to discredit them in any way. Good coach, good team, and they’re part of the NLC. I don’t want to discredit them, but our girls played very well tonight.”
Warsaw, now 2-0 on the season, dominated the match from the opening kick.
Impressive both offensively and defensively, the Lady Tigers allowed NorthWood just one shot the entire match and scored the game-winner just nine minutes in.
Sophomore Alyssa Atkins put Warsaw’s first goal on the scoreboard, as she took a pass from freshman teammate Brenna Shipley and put it past NorthWood junior keeper Madi Eberle.
The Lady Tigers scored three times in the second half, as junior Liz VanWormer netted goals in the 43rd and 63rd minutes, and freshman Alex Koontz scored in the 73rd.
Atkins, senior Brooklyn Jackson and sophomore Julie Frazzetta were credited with assists on the second-half goals.
“God has blessed me to be a part of such a wonderful team,” said Lucht. “I think that we were at our best tonight when we played unselfishly, and it was a tremendous effort tonight. I was proud of all their hard work and their belief in each other.”
Warsaw and NorthWood met twice last season, as the Lady Panthers won the regular season match in Nappanee, and the Lady Tigers scored a 1-0 win in the sectional final.
With plenty of experience back from last year’s sectional championship, as well as some talented young players, Lucht believes this could be a special season for Warsaw.
“We’re blessed to be where we’re at,” said Lucht. “Last year, we weren’t as deep. I’ve got kids I can put in off the bench and they plug right in and contribute. We’re blessed with talent, and the kids have a great work ethic. I was proud of their overall effort tonight.”
Among the Warsaw defenders who held the Lady Panthers to just one shot were seniors Pam Miller and Clair Snodgrass, sophomores Rachel McClelland, Breck Jackson and Maddy Martz, and Koontz.
The Lady Tigers are in action again Tuesday when they host NLC foe Goshen.

WARSAW 4, NORTHWOOD 0
(Goals)
W – Alyssa Atkins (Brenna Shipley assist) 9th min
W – Liz VanWormer (Atkins) 43rd min
W – VanWormer (Brooklyn Jackson) 63rd min
W – Alex Koontz (Julie Frazzetta) 73rd min
Record: Warsaw 2-0 (1-0 NLC)
JV – Warsaw 5, NorthWood 0
Goals – Jubilee Stichter, Kennedy Patton, Lexi Myers, Maddy Martz, Tsige Berelsman
Assists – Kaitlin Whitaker, Mariah Rivera, Katianna Rodriguez