Niles’ Taylor Hess (5) battles with Portage Central’s Stephanie Mellinger for a ball Wednesday night. The Mustangs defeated the Vikings 6-0. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Portage Central beats Niles 6-0

Published 11:04pm Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Don’t let Portage Central’s 1-6 record heading into Wednesday’s Big 16 Conference West Division soccer match fool you.

The Mustangs are the real deal.

A young, but polished Portage Central team scored four second half goals to defeat host Niles 6-0. Despite allowing six goals, Vikings’ keepers Eva Nemeth and Sarah Smith both played well between the pipes.

Nemeth, who played the first half, and Smith were peppered with 37 shots by the Mustangs. Their play kept Portage Central from ending the match early due to the mercy rule.

“We need that to be a better team,” Niles coach Jo Schau said about the type of competition that Portage Central provided her squad. “This type of competition only makes us better. The first have they (Niles) were playing tough. They kind of wore us down and they got their passes together and we didn’t and we lost our confidence. We didn’t lose it all because it could have been a lot worse.

Nemeth got her first start of the season. She faced 17 first half shots and turned away all but two of them as the Mustangs got goals from Hanna Lentz (10th minute) and Samantha Esposito (20th minute).

Smith returned to the goal for the final 40 minutes and faced 20 shots. She allowed four goals, which came in groups of two.

“There wasn’t anything that made that her (Nemeth) position, there wasn’t anything that took that away from Sarah,” Schau said of the switch. “Sarah has a little bit more experience and we were looking for a little bit faster distribution off the saves and that’s why switched it up.

“We will keep playing halves until we find some who is going to step up and make the saves that we want. Eva plays a double role. She can play defense as well as keeper. They were killing us with the speed on the outside and Eva is an outside defender so we felt that was a valid switch to make.”

Taylore Peterson and Lentz scored back-to-back goals two minutes apart. Jessica Dornoff and Katie McGruder capped the scoring with goals that were six minutes apart.

The Vikings (3-2-1) managed just three shots on goal, two of which were handled by keeper Darby Bennett.

Central…6

Niles…0

Halftime score

Portage Central 2, Niles 0

First half

PC – Hanna Lentz 10th minute (Taylore Peterson assist)

PC – Samantha Esposito 20th minute (Katie McGruder assist)

Second half

PC – Peterson 55th minute

PC – Lentz 58th minute (Peterson assist)

PC – Jessica Dornoff 70th minute (Stephanie Mellinger assist)

PC – McGruder 76th minute (Jenna Vanzoeren assist)

Shots on goal

Portage Central 37

Niles 3

Varsity records

Portage Central 2-6, 1-0 West; Niles 3-2-1, 0-1 West

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