LAKEVIEW – Lakeview’s boys soccer team got its first win of the season Tuesday.
The Wildcats (1-6) knocked off the Shepherd Bluejays 6-1, but it wasn’t textbook according to coach Chris Smith.
“I thought we played better soccer skill-wise and less aggressive,” Smith said.
Lakeview got the first three goals of the game, as Bojan Culafic, an exchange student from Montenegro, scored two goals and assisted on the third. He scored five minutes into the game on a takeaway, led Zack Tanis with a perfect pass for the second goal and took a feed from Evan Saxton for a goal for a 3-0 lead in the 37th minute.
Spencer Kamp scored with 39 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
Shepherd (0-2), a first-year soccer program, got on the board in the 42nd minute on a goal from Cody Gruss, who took a pass from Eddie Gruss and hammered it past Lakeview goalkeeper Tim Reed. But that momentum was short-lived, as a minute later Culafic finished off a hat trick by putting home a pass from Saxton that went through three Bluejay defenders.
Saxton got a goal of his own in the 69th minute by putting home a cross pass.
“I thought we played real well as a team,” Smith said. “We had two even teams as far as experience. Our guys were able to take advantage of that.”
Smith said the Wildcats may have played down a little knowing they were facing a first-year team.
“Against Reed City in the first half of that game we played harder,” he said. “There was probably a letdown.”
Smith was impressed with the Bluejays.
“For a first-year program, I think they (Shepherd) are doing fine,” he said. “They have some physical guys. They will be better at the end of the season.”
Lakeview travels to Big Rapids Crossroads Charter Academy Thursday for their next game. They will host Fulton-Middleton on Sept. 14.
Smith hopes to use the Shepherd win as a springboard for bigger things.
“I think scoring some goals and getting some shots was a confidence-builder,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to build on that.”