Laker girls soccer team dominates Walker/Hackensack-Akeley
The last time the Detroit Lakes girls' soccer team played the overmatched Walker/Hackensack-Akeley Wolves, it was a 2-0 victory.
Or in other words, it was too close for comfort against a team the Lakers have traditionally dominated.
But that was two weeks ago, and the No. 3 seeded DL team had no such qualms in the opening round of the Section 8-1A playoffs Thursday, as they downed the No. 6 Wolves 5-1 at the Rotary Field Complex.
Although it took about 20 minutes to start their scoring machine, once it did, it produced.
The main cylinder was senior attacker Emily Payne, who notched back-to-back goals in the first half to give the Lakers a 2-0 halftime advantage. Each of junior midfielder Anya Butzer and sophomore forward Jade Olson were in on assists.
"The thing we wanted to do today is to come out and show Walker who we were and show them we could score on them," Payne said. "We all were aggressive attacking and wanted to find the back of the net."
The 2-0 lead quickly expanded to a 5-0 advantage in the second half, where the Lakers controlled possession and created shooting lanes with some effective combination passing.
Senior midfielder Callie Johnson opened the second half scoring on an unassisted effort, while sophomore defender Lindsey Heinecke followed with a net-finding kick. Heinecke's goal was also unassisted.
The third unassisted effort came by Butzer, who put the Lakers firmly in control 5-1, after the Wolves' Jessica Wilkening scored on a side of the net shot, which crept under the crossbar and by DL goalie Kathryn Foltz.
"I thought Walker played a nice game and it took us a while early on to get in rhythm," said DL head coach Dave Carter. "But the forwards were all passing nice and were putting nice angles on the balls to get their shots on the goal.
"I was certain after we scored that first goal, we would be fine, because they were passing so well."
The Wolves had only two shots on Foltz, making one. But otherwise, the Lakers' side of the field was pretty quiet.
Next up will be No. 2 Bemidji (11-6), which the Lakers (9-6-1) just lost to in the regular season finale by the score of 4-3.
The Lumberjacks also defeated the Lakers 3-2 Aug. 30 for the season sweep.
"We know they have a very good player in Erin Booth and we will have to keep track of her," Carter said. "We also can't let them dribble around, because that's what they do well. I think we will produce goals, our big key is to come out early playing well."
The Lakers will be hoping come Saturday, the adage of "It's difficult to beat a team three times in one season" comes to fruition.
"That's what we are hoping for," Carter included.