By Nick Johnson
DHI Media Correspondent
LIMA — In a battle of winless girls soccer teams on Tuesday night, the Lady Indians of Shawnee scored early and often in a 9-0 win over visiting Van Wert.
The Lady Indians were able to strike for six goals in the first half as Madelyn O’Connell scored twice. Also finding the back of the net was Lauren Buettner, Carly Gronas, Isabella Fusillo and Julia Hardy.
“It’s kind of a pattern we have had in a couple of our games when we give up an early goal. That first five-ten minute burst, we need to kind of shore that up, because we get down a goal or two and things change,” noted Van Wert coach Rich Nouza. “They are a good team, they play outside in. They get the ball to the outside then they cross it into the middle of the field. They had a few runners open in the middle, especially in the six yard line and they got some easy goals; they were just unmarked runners.”
The Lady Cougars got a little one two action going to start the second half as Nykee Billingham and ShyLyn Shepard were able to connect on a couple nice passes, forcing the Shawnee center backs into some early defensive action.

Later on in the match, Courtney Byrd broke through the Lady Indians back line in pursuit of a cross ball. Byrd’s run forced the Shawnee goalie to come nearly 25 yards out of her box to clear the ball out of the danger zone. Van Wert’s best chance to score came when the Lady Cougars worked the ball on the right side of the penalty box and moved it to the top of the penalty box where Alea Hill struck a hard shot that ripped through the Lady Indians defense forcing the Shawnee goalkeeper to move to her right to stop the ball from finding the back of the net.
“We were playing four in the midfield instead of three. We were trying to move it up the middle a little bit and we were able to link up a couple of passes in the second half. We got a couple of opportunity in the box,” added coach Nouza.
Though Shawnee extended its lead after halftime, Nouza felt the Lady Cougars improved as the game wore on.
“We got a little more confidence, we got our legs underneath us. We started to execute some of the stuff we talked about at half time.”