Nick Sabato/Lakeland Times

Lakeland junior Erika Intrepidi fights through the Antigo defense during an 8-0 Great Northern Conference win on Tuesday, May 8, at River Valley Bank Field. Intrepidi had a career-high three assists.
Nick Sabato/Lakeland Times

Lakeland junior Erika Intrepidi fights through the Antigo defense during an 8-0 Great Northern Conference win on Tuesday, May 8, at River Valley Bank Field. Intrepidi had a career-high three assists.
The Lakeland Union High School girls' soccer team was able to gain some momentum during a three-game stretch over the weekend in which it won two out of three games.

On Tuesday, the Thunderbirds had a chance to continue their hot play against Antigo, a team that had lost its last 15 Great Northern Conference games.

It didn't take long for Lakeland to exert its will, scoring a little more than two minutes into the game en route to an 8-0 win, in which several junior varsity players got playing time.

"It was nice to see what everyone could do and bringing up those JV girls to see if they can keep up because I can't always watch their games," LUHS head coach Stephanie Hartzheim said. "It was nice to see all the varsity girls working hard and then to get that break as well."

In last week's GNC win over Wausau Newman, Olivia Killian recorded a hat trick to propel her team to victory.

Against Antigo, Killian scored two first half goals and a career-high four in the game. Killian has scored eight goals - five in the first half - in Lakeland's three wins.

Three of her four goals Tuesday came off crosses, while the second came on a shot from beyond the right hash mark, 20 yards out to go up 2-0 just 17 minutes into the game.

"It was a slow start for her and I've been telling her she has to take shots or she's not going to score," Hartzheim said. "I think the last couple games she's been trying to take more shots and follow her shots versus walking away from them."

While Killian was turning passes into goals, Erika Intrepidi was creating goals with her passes.

Intrepidi was one of the primary playmakers for the team who registered three assists, all on crosses.

Intrepidi's first assist came on the first goal of the game to Killian, while her second went to Adreanna Dietrich in the 20th minute and the last on a highlight reel goal by Linnea Turner in the second half.

"(Intrepidi) is a key player that we look for to make those crosses and get those assists," Hartzheim said. "She has a wonderful high ball and she had some really good low balls as well."

Abby Parris had two goals, while Camryn Trapp had two assists. Zoey Ziebart and Megan Farrell also added one assist apiece.

After going winless in its first four games of the season, Lakeland has now won three of its last four.

Not only are the T-Birds racking up wins, but they are gaining confidence in the process, particularly when they play a more aggressive offensive style of play.

"I think it really helped the offense work on their runs and even the defense worked on their runs," Hartzheim said. "I think it makes it more of a high for the girls going into the next game against Ashland. Hopefully they can bring that with them and have a little bit more confidence. Now they know they can score, they can work together, they can push together, they cannot let any goals in the back of the net, which will help in the next game I think."

Lakeland played at Ashland on Thursday in Great Northern Conference play.

The T-Birds lost to the Oredockers in the second game of the season, 4-0, but hoped to be the first team in the GNC to hand them a loss this time around.

"I think with the practice we've had outside and being able to get some of those injuries renewed and get those players back into the game, I hope this Thursday we'll be able to keep it a closer game or pick up a win," Hartzheim said.

Lakeland (3-4-1, 2-1 GNC) played at Ashland after press time, but a full report will appear in Tuesday's edition of The Lakeland Times and the T-Birds are scheduled play again Medford on Tuesday at Stetsonville Elementary School, starting at 5 p.m.

Nick Sabato may be reached at nick@lakelandtimes.com or via Twitter @NickSabatoLT.