STEVENSVILLE — Lakeshore’s boys soccer team got a boost from a healthy Mikey Tibbitts in the Lancers’ season-opening match against visiting Edwardsburg on Tuesday evening.
Tibbitts, a junior forward for the Lancers, scored a goal in the opening 10 minutes and added another with under five to play and the score tied to help Lakeshore to a 2-1 win over the Eddies at Mark Lehmann Memorial Field.
“It’s nice to get a win in the first game,” Lakeshore coach Brian Samuel said. “What a great match. Edwardsburg put up a great fight. They’re going to have some success in conference I’m sure this year.”
Tuesday’s game was one of the first full-speed games Tibbitts has seen since suffering an ACL tear soon after the 2018 season.
“He’s played limited in some camps and stuff over the summer, so it was good to see that he’s healthy,” Samuel said. “He’s a phenomenal player. When he’s in there, we’re a better team.”
Lakeshore (1-0) took an early lead when Tibbitts scored unassisted just over eight minutes into the game. Tibbitts took a low, line-drive shot from the left side of the field that found the lower right corner of the net.
Edwardsburg evened the score at 1-1 about 10 minutes after Tibbitts’ first goal.
Senior forward Anthony Castelucci did most of the work himself on the goal, dribbling through and around defenders on his way to the center of the field before finally finishing on the Edwardsburg’s first shot attempt.
The Eddies (0-2) would only get two more shots off in the game.
Samuel said he was pleased overall with the Lancers’ defensive efforts.
“A couple seniors leading us in the back there with good communication,” he said. “I felt like we were organized for the most part and took care of business. We only let them loose a couple of times, so we’re happy with that.”
Both teams played evenly for the middle third of the game until Tibbitts was able to connect for his second goal that broke the tie.
With the five-minute mark approaching, senior forward Tom Bitzer carried the ball down the far side of the field before cutting inside and crossing it to Tibbitts, who took a shot and put in the decisive goal.
Before Tibbitts’ second goal, Lakeshore held the ball for long stretches on the offensive side of the field, but only generated a few quality scoring attempts despite nine shot attempts.
Edwardsburg coach Sean Jesse noted that the Eddies are still in early-season form, but saw improvement after falling 4-3 to St. Joseph on Saturday.
“Lakeshore is a good team,” Jesse said. “They possess well, so we were having to defend long stretches. I felt like once we were able to stretch the field and actually gain our own composure, we were very competitive. It’s a good early-season game.”
The Eddies will play Berrien Springs today.
“Our work rate is really good,” said Jesse. “Our intensity is really good and our drive is really good. The actual flow of the game, we just don’t quite see yet. We’re kind of building to that.”
Lakeshore 2, Edwardsburg 1
Goals — Lakeshore: Mikey Tibbitts 2. Edwardsburg: Anthony Castelucci.
Assists — Lakeshore: Tom Bitzer.
Shots on goal — Lakeshore 9, Edwardsburg 3.
Saves — Oli Carmody (L) 2, Zach Strycker (E) 7.
Halftime — Tied 1-1.
JV — Lakeshore 6-3.
Records — Lakeshore 1-0, Edwardsburg 0-2.
Contact: bspencer@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSpencer