Girls soccer: Lakeland Christian blanks All Saints to win 2A-7 district title
LAKELAND — If there are four phases to the season for the Lakeland Christian girls soccer team, the Vikings just completed Phase 2.
LCS gained the No. 1 seed in the region in Phase 1 and won the district title in Phase 2.
The latter part became official with Lakeland Christian's 5-0 victory over All Saints on Thursday night in the Class 2A, District 7 championship match at Viking Stadium.
Winning regionals and winning the state championship are the final two stages.
Boys soccer:Lakeland Christian dominates en route to winning district title
Lakeland Christian (16-2-2) enters the regional tournament playing a high level of soccer that bodes well for another deep playoff run.
"I think we're definitely starting to come together, especially after the Christmas break, it's been so good," said junior K.J. Straub, who scored second-half goals. "Everyone is playing as a team. We've all been just our biggest cheerleaders and encouragers. It's really been great to see that. We're playing a lot better than at the beginning of the season."
While the potential matchup with St. Johns Country Day has been on their minds all season, the Vikings have been alert to stay in the present and enjoy each step.
"I would definitely say that each game is a new challenge," Straub said. "We have to work and practice every single week to win that next game. Playing St. Johns would be amazing, but each game and each practice we have to get better."
The team play is evident in the scoring against the Saints as seven players, including Straub, were involved.
Lily Harrington started the scoring when she converted a long free kick from the sideline.
Five minutes later, Carly Sabat scored her team-leading 12th goal of the season. Maddie Lopez started play by taking the ball down the right side then made a strong centering pass. Ori Gotauco and Kaelyn Diaz tapped it around quickly to Sabat who buried her shot.
Sabat set up Straub twice in the second half. The first was a pass from the left sideline that went past Diaz and Gotauco to Straub on the far side. Sabat set up Straub's next goal, and Straub scorcher of a final goal came on a header off a corner kick.
All Saints (11-5-1) did not have any scoring chances as the defense of Emily Smith, Gretchen Caswell, Destinee Caswell and Halle Johnson cleared away any threat before it reached goalkeeper MacKenzie Marotz.
Instead of sitting back and packing it in defensively, the Saints attacked LCS.
"I was impressed with their (Saints) intensity," LCS coach Jason Streets said. "They played hard, they played quick. I thought the first half, their pressure caused us some fits. We were having a hard time playing quickly. We settled down as the game went on."
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Girls soccer: Lakeland Christian blanks All Saints to win 2A-7 district title