LAKEVIEW — It didn’t take long for the Lakeview Wildcats soccer team to take control.
Lakeview senior David Wheeler was able to knock in a goal just five minutes into the game against the Tri County Vikings on Tuesday evening in a nonleague 2-1 victory at home.
“It was a big deal to get off to that kind of start,” Lakeview coach Chris Smith said. “I think we caught them off guard a little bit on a big throw-in from Jordan Stephens on the left. It went to the middle and David (Wheeler) was able to tap it in.”
That goal gave the Wildcats (8-6) some early confidence and they went on to control the ball for most of the game.
“It was a big confidence booster and kind of gave us a little room to work with,” Smith said. “We ended up with a lot of good scoring chances. There were times when they (Tri County) got some sustained pressure, but overall I thought we controlled play.”
The game remained in favor of Lakeview 1-0, but both teams had a couple of quality scoring chances.
With 19:42 remaining in the first half, Tri County’s Dylan Matulis hit the post on a shot. Just five minutes later, Lakeview’s Jonathan Hansen hit the crossbar off a pass from Wheeler.
“I’m really happy with the way the guys played,” Lakeview coach Chris Smith said. “It was hard fought at all positions.”
Hansen got his goal in the second half on a hustle play down the middle of the field. Off a great pass, Hansen was able to kick the ball by the Tri County keeper for a commanding 2-0 lead.
Tri County picked up the pressure later in the half and actually scored with just 2:59 remaining in the game.
With a mad scramble inside the goal box, there was an unintentional pass back to Lakeview keeper Lucas Sweet, which resulted in an indirect kick for the Vikings from five feet.
Matulis got the short pass and knocked it into the top right side of the goal to pull within 2-1.
“It was a little bit scary at the end,” Smith said. “I don’t think we have ever practiced an indirect kick from that close. It rarely ever happens.”
The goal didn’t stun the Wildcats, as they closed out the match for the win.
Tri County coach Vic Matulis was not at the game and the remaining coaching staff did not want to comment for this story.
Lakeview will host Leroy Pine River on Friday. Tri County is at Big Rapids on Friday.