LANCASTER – Erica Campbell has always been able to score the ball, but the way she did it the last two years was to blast the ball and overpower the opposing goalie.
She has worked on being more patient and placing the ball, especially when she has a one-on-one opportunity. Those skills were on full display Tuesday as Campbell, a junior, scored four goals in leading the Golden Gales to an 8-0 nonconference victory over visiting Central Crossing.
Each time Campbell had scoring chances she took advantage, scoring three goals in the first half as Lancaster built a 6-0 halftime lead.
“If I have a one-on-one with the goalie, that is the one thing that I’ve been bad at, but I’ve been working on placing the ball instead of just bombing it at the goalie,” Campbell said. “I’ve been working on being more patient when I get one-on-one chances. It’s not there, but it is coming.”
Lancaster coach Brian Griffin said Campbell is making huge strides compared to 2013. She has scored six goals in the first two games of the season.
“She has a lot of chances, and she is working on capitalizing more,” Griffin said. “The last couple of years if she had 10 chances, eight of them weren’t necessarily on frame, but she is trying to get that number a little more consistent.
“She is starting to understand how to place the ball in the corners, and that’s what we’ve worked on instead of her just blasting the ball.”
Izzy Ryan had a nifty goal to get the Gales on the board early in the game. She was able to get keep the ball away from her defender with some fancy footwork and then had a nice cross with her left foot from about 20 yards out.
Campbell scored her first goal from point-blank range less than four minutes late to give the Gales a 2-0 advantage. Campbell was right back it, scoring back-to-back goals on breakaways.
Savannah Dalton closed out the first-half scoring with two goals, the last coming with only 37 seconds left in the half.
Campbell scored her fourth goal with 22:02 left in the game, and Natalie Brewer added a late goal for the Gales.
Lancaster has now outscored its first two opponents 17-0. The Gales defeated Philo 9-0 on Saturday.
“We wanted to come out and score early so we could work on some things, and we did that,” said Campbell, who sat out the final 25 minutes of the first half. “The two teams we’ve played weren’t the best, but these kind of wins are confidence boosters for when we get in the league.”
Lancaster sophomore goalie Mikaela Wagner wasn’t tested much, but she was, she stopped every shot.
Lancaster will open Ohio Capital Conference-Ohio Division play Tuesday at home against Pickerington Central.