GREEN BAY — Thursday night Mackenzie Greisch was everywhere for the Appleton North offense, splitting the Notre Dame defense and finding players open for shots and sometimes taking he shots at the net.
Not every pass or shot ended the way North hoped, but Greisch and Co. did enough damage. The Lightning overwhelmed the Tritons, 5-0, in a nonconference game at Ted Fristch Field.
“For (us) especially on turf for our team to come together and play a quicker tempo, I think it’s real good we were able to connect some passes and find each other with communication,” Greisch said. “Just shows there’s good things to come from us ahead.”
Greisch officially had just one assist but her impact was clear. The all-Fox Valley Association selection led an offense that outshot Notre Dame, 21-6.
North’s five goals were a good sign and not just because goals are hard to come by in soccer. The Lightning lost prolific goal scorer Meg Riebau to graduation and need to find a replacement or replacements.
It appears it will be replacements. Nicole Friis had two goals for North (2-0), while Kitt Richards, Kali Dreier and Anna Batley (penalty kick) each scored once. This comes on the heels of a 9-goal performance in a win over Appleton West.
“For us to be a balanced team and have multiple threats, it’s phenomenal,” Greisch said. “We can shoot from inside and outside.
“Every year there’s going to be shoes to fill, that’s part of the game. It’s up to that next team to step up. This group of girls will have no problem jumping into it … and kind of making our own legacy this year.”
North, Neenah and Kimberly shared the FVA title last season and each appears primed to challenge again for the top spot. Greisch is looking forward to competing with the Rockets and Papermakers and winning the FVA.
“We’re very hungry,” Greisch said. “That’s every team’s goal. It’s definitely in our minds.
“We always know it’s going to be tough competition. We have to bring our game every game and hopefully good things will happen.”
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay