WARSAW – The Tiger Soccer Complex (TSC) was brimming with energy for what turned out to be an extra special boys’/girls’ varsity soccer doubleheader from 10 a.m. Saturday morning into the early afternoon. The Wawasee Warriors’ sides were on hand accompanied by fan bases who were strong in numbers to further enhance the energy and excitement for each game.

Each Tiger side shut out its intercounty foe. The girls triumphed 5-0 in the early match, followed by the boys with a dominant 8-0 victory.

Each Warsaw side added – in its own special way - to the energy already in place at the TSC.

The girls (10-3-2, 6-0 in conference) clinched at least a tie for the 2022 Northern Lakes Conference (NLC) title.

Warsaw senior forward Bonnie Hampton opened the girls’ scoring with a goal at the sixth minute. Senior striker Rylee Burns added two more goals (50’, 51’) in a 55-second span before the young, tenacious Wawasee squad (1-10-3, 0-5 NLC) tightened their grip on the Tiger offense shutting out their hosts for the remaining 29 minutes.

Warsaw’s senior girls’ side will honor their eight elder stateswomen in Tuesday’s match versus Carroll. Ceremonies are slated for 6:45 p.m.

While Tuesday will put Tiger seniors in the spotlight, Saturday showcased the future of Tiger soccer.

Junior footballers Sophia Johnston (32’) and Natalie Brown (37’) scored goals to move Warsaw ahead 3-0 in the first half. Sophomore goalkeeper Ellie Schenck earned the shutout.

Familiar names among senior and junior Tiger athletes who spend a lot of time on the pitch for Warsaw aided Schenck’s shutout keeping the Warriors from reaching the center line throughout almost the entire match.

Taylon Chastain, Abbi Kohler, Sarah Kratzsch, Jordan Love, Kaden Pepper, Kiana Rager, Paige Smythe and Macy Wayne completed a team effort in its truest form.

“I’m really excited that our group got on the board early today,” Warsaw head coach Jon Hoover said in a postgame press release. “We had some great stretches where we moved the ball with pace and precision.  It was also nice to be able to rest some players that traditionally play all or most of each game for us.”

Wawasee’s girls’ side will finish its regular season with two NLC matches facing Mishawaka Tuesday, and hosting their final match against NorthWood Thursday.

The Tiger boys (11-2-1, 4-2 NLC), who will likely finish third in the NLC by ½ game, honored their senior footballers, and successfully used their match to prepare for their next goal, a sectional title.

Wawasee (6-6-1, 1-3-1) winds up its regular season with two NLC away matches traveling to Northridge Tuesday, and to Plymouth Thursday.

Warsaw’s senior honorees included goalkeeper Marco Cuahuizo, Nathan Dailey, Javi Enciso, Dennis Hernandez, Colton Martin, Kevin O’Neill, Benji Rodriguez, Tito Sanchez, Alexis Vargas, and Nehemiah Wright.

Three of those honorees made the special day… extra special.

Wright, Warsaw’s athletic goalkeeper, recorded the side’s ninth regular season shutout.

Enciso, a senior midfielder, scored his first two of five goals for the match in the third and seventh minutes. Enciso added a three-goal torrent within a five-minute span early in the second half (41’, 42’, 46’).

Enciso’s classmate, Sanchez, assisted two of those goals. Sanchez’s third assist on junior Eddie Escutio’s goal at the 71st minute, was an extra special moment for the senior forward.

Sanchez set a Warsaw Tiger boys’ soccer career record for assists on his third dish.

Benji Rodriguez’s big brother, Jose – the record-holder entering Saturday’s match – was in attendance to celebrate his kid brother’s career but ended up with a bonus experience celebrating the new Tiger side assist record.

The moment was also made possible by Tigers who were slated to go in for Sanchez who unselfishly preferred to see Sanchez earn the milestone in lieu of their own playing time.

“I told my teammates before the game I had three assists,” Sanchez said, still smiling. “Luckily they helped me out.”

“You don't get a lot of credit for (assists),” Sanchez continued regarding the nature of earning feeds, “(A) lot of my friends, they all hyped me… so it feels nice when everyone around knows what you did.”

“Tito was out there working, and I was gonna’ take him out with 30 minutes left in the second half,” Warsaw head coach Ryan Burgher added regarding the achievement. “The guys told me they wouldn't go in for him 'cause they wanted him to get the record so… I left Tito in… and (it was) a special day for the program, and for Tito.”

The match successfully served two significant purposes Burgher’s established for his squad: affording nice stretches of meaningful minutes for seniors who devoted double-digit years to the beautiful game, and by preparing some junior varsity players who are being considered for a call-up to the Tigers’ sectional roster.

Mydin Burgher, a freshman striker, and one of the likely sectional call-ups, scored two goals (38’, 67’) in what has already become his signature strength, tenacity that exploits goalie deflections not recovered by stunned defenders.

“Since it was Senior Day, we wanted to start all of our seniors and get them some good playing time,” Burgher said regarding their increased minutes. “We always tell the seniors as long as they're in and they’re fighting hard, keeping the game close they're gonna play a lot… they all did a great job so, yeah, it was really nice team win today.”

Warsaw’s boys will host Northridge Thursday 7:15 p.m. Admission is free for a night honoring Hispanic Heritage with a Spanish-speaking play-by-play announcer whose professional-style calls will be aired on the PA speakers. Food trucks will also be on hand offering delightful “eats” including elote (corn), and tamales.