La PORTE — Tuesday's girls soccer matchup between La Porte County rivals La Porte and Michigan City didn't have quite the hype that Matchday 1 of the UEFA Champions League across Europe, but whenever the Slicers and Wolves get together in any sport, it always comes with some anticipation.
Unfortunately for the visitors in this contest, it was a night they would like to forget.
Senior defender Megan Blank opened the scoring in the 29th minute from about 35 yards out and rang two other long-distance strikes off the crossbar, junior midfielder Morgan Llewelyn tacked on a second goal with just 16.3 seconds left in the opening half and the Slicers rolled easily to a 5-0 victory over their rivals to the west.
"It's Michigan City, it's our rival," Slicers coach John White said after the win. "It means a lot to these girls. They're friends with a lot of the girls on their team and they know a lot of people that go to Michigan City. They want those bragging rights and they were motivated to go out and get them tonight. We beat them pretty bad last year. I think it was 4-1. They wanted to do it again this year and I think we played a more complete game this year."
The Slicers registered 24 shots compared to City's six, they maintain much of the possession throughout both halves and stayed on the attack for virtually the entire contest.
One of the derailing moments for the Wolves early came on a close call that was ruled offside for sophomore midfielder Olivia Shinn in the 31st minute on a long through ball that could've put the guests in prime position to level the match at 1-1. Shinn was called offside and a few minutes later, Llewelyn's goal made it 2-0 Slicers through the first 40 minutes.
Any momentum the Wolves could've tried to seize back early in the second half was zapped when junior forward Gabrielle Latchford knocked home a bouncing ball that was courtesy of a laser off the right foot of Blank that nailed off the woodwork and made it 3-0 Slicers with just under 29 minutes to play in the game.
One of the many factors into the rout for the Slicers was their on-target shooting from outside of the box; something White said he's been preaching since last season. Like many fans do during games, White even finds himself yelling "Shoot!"
"They're finally buying into it," White said. "Instead of pressing the goal all the time, they're taking shots from out there."
The 62nd minute of the contest saw the Slicers draw a penalty and junior midfielder Erin Johnson squeezed a soft, low-paced shot on her right foot to basically seal the deal to make it 4-0 to the Slicers. They tacked on a fifth goal in the 78th minute for the cherry on top of everything.
"We dominated the time of possession and made our passes count and work well," White said. "We moved the ball all over the field. We took great shots. It could've easily been 8-0. We missed some ones that we probably should've made."
Wolves head coach Michael Ramsey didn't say much after his team's performance, but he saw what everyone in attendance saw on Tuesday night.
"They had the better players and scored more goals," Ramsey said. "They were clearly the better team."
Reach Michael Whitlow at email@example.com or (219) 214-4169. Follow him on Twitter @couldbelikemike.