Central women unleash offense in soccer season opener

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PELLA—A hat trick from Erin Manion (senior, forward, Delafield, Wis., Kettle Moraine HS)accounted for one-third of the Central College women’s soccer team’s offense in a 9-0 shellacking of Wisconsin Lutheran College Saturday

It was the biggest margin of victory for coach Mike Kobylinski and the Dutch (1-0) since beating Crown College (Minn.) by the same 9-0 margin on September 10, 2016.

“We were able to play a lot of women today,” Kobylinski said. “And a lot of women played their second positions which will help us throughout the year. We get some confidence by getting a lot of names on the scoresheet and I think we’ll have that confidence for matches to come.”

Manion had two goals in the first half and made it a hat trick just 14 seconds into the second half. Five of her six shot attempts were on frame, including an attempt off the right post in the first period.

“Erin is a special player,” Kobylinski said. “She’s someone that I love leading our program. She had a great preseason and now a great start to the year and I’m so happy for her.”

Making their Central debuts, forwards Jessica Altman (junior, Bondurant, Bondurant-Farrar HS) andMaddie McMartin (freshman, Grundy Center) notched their first career goals. McMartin also assisted onAnna Tillo’s (midfielder, West Burlington, Notre Dame HS) goal in the game’s waning moments while Jacie Borman (freshman, defender, Eagan, Minn.) had a pair of assists.

 “We had young players and transfers who came in and did their job,” Kobylinski said. “They made a difference and it makes it easy for the older players to know they can rest a little easier because other people are stepping up to the plate.”

Defender Cate Christopherson (junior, Omaha, Neb., North HS) tallied the game’s fifth goal on a penalty kick and had an assist on Manion’s opening salvo.

“She was one of the most versatile and instinctual players today,” Kobylinski said.

The game’s other goals were scored by midfielder Mikaela Erickson (senior, Spring Lake, Mich., Western Michigan Christian HS) and Sophia Sanchez (junior, Des Moines, Lincoln HS). Sanchez also had an assist on McMartin’s goal.

The shutout victory was split between three Central keepers. Junior Taylor Golt (Crystal Lake, Ill., Prairie Ridge HS) got the start and played the first half with four saves. Sophomore LeAnn Grandia (West Des Moines, Valley HS) and junior Kylie Naeve (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) had one save each while splitting the second period.

Central is back at home on Monday for a 5 p.m. meeting against Monmouth College.