FORT WAYNE – Bishop Luers girls soccer coach Val Jovevski pulls no punches when he talks about his team.
We should be No. 1, he said after his girls beat Eastbrook 8-1 in the Class A Bishop Luers Regional championship Saturday. I know that they got it. Now, we got to make them believe it. I truly think we can go all the way through.
The Knights (14-4) were No. 3 in the state entering Saturday’s matchup against the Panthers (11-3-3) and made a case for why, by the end of the tournament, they could be the state’s best team.
Senior midfielder Addie Reimbold, the SAC Player of the Year, had a hat trick and two assists to lead Luers back to semistate for the second year in a row.
The Knights’ first goal came 1:32 into the match, as freshman midfielder Kennedy Brough took a through ball from junior midfielder Shayna Coy and put it past Eastbrook goalkeeper Libby Sykes.
From there, the rout was on.
We really tried to spread the field and just possess the ball, Reimbold said. We just found through balls early, and that really helped us, and then we finished.
Coy had two goals and two assists, and the Knights jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Panthers junior midfielder Sierra Singer sprinted past the Luers defense and put a goal in the top-left corner of the net with 55 seconds left in the first half.
That was all Eastbrook could muster.
They’ve worked so hard all this time – seniors, juniors, even the younger ones coming up, Jovevski said. I can talk about them all day and all night. They’re just a class team. They play their hearts out.
Luers also got goals from senior midfielder Annie Whitman, who scored off a corner when Sykes mishandled the ball with 32:57 left in the first half, and senior midfielder Haley Stronczek, who struck with 3:40 left in the half.
The Knights play Wheeler at noon next Saturday at Argos. If Luers advances, it will play at 7 that night for a shot at the state finals.
Our schedule is always really tough, and we start out the year with teams like Carroll and Dwenger and big schools like that, so it really helped prepare us for tournament play, Reimbold said. Our team’s small, so we know that we have to make sure we’re in our best shape. We just have to be ready for everything.