"There were fairly high expectations because we had seven seniors coming back this year," first-year coach Steve Hoffman said. "The hardest part was getting them to believe they were a very good team. As the year went on, we started putting some wins together."
Teams that usually had beaten us handily or we hadn't had a whole lot of luck against, we were either beating them or tying them. As the season grew, they grew as a team and they believed the could win these games.”
Lake's girls and boys’ teams also compete in the MSSL. The Flyer girls, who are 9-3-4 overall, finished 6-2-2 in the MSSL. The boys' squad finished 4-3-1 (third) in the SLL and 6-2 (second) in the MSSL.
The Flyers' girls are led by sophomore forward Drew Plummer, who has scored 20 goals and added five assists this season.
"She transitioned this year," Hoffman said. "She had honors in the MSSL last year as a defender. During the preseason as we were mixing it up we tried her as a forward and she completely changed the makeup of our team and how dangerous we could be. She could have a lot more goals than she had, but trying to learn a position as you go, after playing defense for so many years, that takes a little bit of time. She's fast, she's aggressive and she can play with both feet."
Heather Cox, a senior forward, has 13 goals and seven assists while senior midfielder Jaclyn Kinsey has seven goals and two assists for the Flyers. Senior goalie Kelsey McCloskey has 117 saves and has allowed 20 goals.
"Without these kids and their strong senior leadership, our team would not have been where we are today," Hoffman said. "It's just been a fun season. I share the coaching duties with Kristen Swartz. Without her, this team would be nowhere."
Lake is the No. 1 seed at the Division II sectional tournament at Lake. The Flyers will play Swanton, 3-0 winners over Cardinal Stritch, on Saturday. The Flyers' boys’ team, under first-year coach Chad Lillich, had an 11-4-1 overall mark heading into its Division III sectional match on Thursday at Tiffin Calvert. Top-seeded Lake faced Old Fort, 3-2 winners over Woodmore. Old Fort lost to the Flyers during the regular season.
Lillich said team chemistry was a huge key this season for Lake, which won only six matches a year ago.
"We lost nine seniors from last year," Lillich said. "These kids came to practice and learned every practice. They were looking to improve themselves and improve on last year's record. We were pretty balanced all the way across."Freshman forward Osvaldo Paredes has scored a school-record 22 goals and added seven assists on the year."He's relentless and goes after everything," Lillich said.
"If you give him a chance to put it in, he's putting it in. He's quick and has good foot skills."
Drew Metz, a sophomore midfielder, has 12 goals and school-record 17 assists.
"He's got great field awareness and has great touch and great dribbling skills," Lillich said. "He has a nice knack of putting the ball in the back of the net."Junior goalie Scott Hartman, who played football last fall, has a school-record 148 saves with four shutouts, and has allowed 30 goals this season.
“He came in this year, a first-year goalie, and really took the job with a great work ethic," Lillich said. "He's got the skills to be the top goalie in the league and he improves every day. He's kept us in a lot of games this year."