LCL soccer entered the 2022 playoffs carrying a lot of expectations, holding a 13-4 record, a #7 overall ranking in Division 4, and a #2 seed in the bracket. Kicking off the postseason was a matchup against #15 seed Campbellsport, who finished the regular season with a 2-15 mark.
It wouldn’t take long into the postseason for LCL to make their presence known, and to meet those expectations. The Lightning came out firing on all cylinders, moving onto the regional final by way of a 10-0 victory. The ten-goal outburst was the team’s second-highest-scoring game of the season, behind only a 12-0 win over University Lake/Trinity Academy in mid-September.
aiting for LCL in the regional title match was Lodi, a #10 seed who had upset Living Word Lutheran 1-0 just days before. The most recent meeting between the two schools was in 2019, which also happened to be a regional championship. The Lightning walked away from that matchup with a 4-1 victory and another entry into a long list of regional title plaques, and 2022 was no different.
Coincidentally, LCL again beat Lodi by a final score of 4-1, taking the regional title and moving on to play #3 seed River Valley. However, LCL’s strong presence in the playoffs thus far has not been a coincidence, as it has proven time and time again this season why it’s a force to be reckoned with.
River Valley enters Thursday’s matchup 17-4-4, but while they may have an edge over the Lightning in the standings, LCL holds the advantage in goals per game, averaging 0.89 as opposed to the Blackhawks’ 0.76.
The victor of the regional semifinal will face the winner of St. John’s NWMA/Chesterton Academy and Lakeside Lutheran on Saturday, seeking a berth in the state tournament.