Ashley Woodcox (left) pressures a ball by the West Vigo keeper as Abby Birkey (right) follows the play.
There was plenty to celebrate at Northview during Senior Night for the girls soccer team.
The obvious reason was to honor the play of seniors Kelsey Haring and Rachel Roeschlein who have been key components of the team's resurgence in the second half of the season.
"Kelsey's had a nice four year career," commented Northview head coach Don Bryan. "She played great last year and she's getting stronger this year as her foot injury comes around. She's a solid player. As far as Rachel (Roeschlein) is concerned. I wish she would have come out earlier, she's got some skills. She's been patient and worked hard after walking on and has done a good job in her time on the field."
Another reason would be decided after 70 minutes of action on the pitch (halves were shortened to 35 minutes to elude darkness at the end of the game).
The Knights scored early and got stronger in the second half to put away West Vigo with a 4-1 decision that clinched second place in the Western Indiana Conference race for Northview.
Northview got started on the offensive end in the early going with Abby Birkey providing a nice feed to Ashley Woodcox whose shot was saved nicely by the West Vigo keeper.
"West Vigo's keeper did an awesome job tonight," commented Bryan. "We know that they are a much better team from last year. They are a young team like us."
The Northview pressure finally succeeded in denting the scoreboard at the 28:51 mark when Ahnya Alstott took a free kick from 25 yards out. She chipped the ball forward where Ashley Woodcox and the Viking keeper met the ball at the same time. The ball skipped away and Woodcox chased down the rebound and fired home the first goal of the game.
Birkey narrowly missed adding to the score just a minute later when a long feed upfield found her foot and her shot was just tipped high by the keeper.
The Vikings knotted up the score with just over 24 minutes left in the half when Leaerin Moore got loose in the Northview defensive end and crossed a shot to the far post that got past Christina Arvin.
The goal by the Vikings sparked their offense which continued their pressure through the middle of the half, getting a couple of solid attempts on net. However, the Northview defense, spurred by Ahnya Alstott, Birkey, Tiffany Young, Cayla Yockey and Kelsey Haring held down the fort to keep the score tied up.
With nine minutes remaining before halftime, the Northview frontline broke through once more when the Northview midfield settled the ball and Emma Reed pushed a nice pass through the West Vigo defenders to Ashley Woodcox who took a few touches before threading her second goal of the game to the back of the net.
From there, the Knights would feed off the energy, taking the lead into halftime and coming out strong in the second half as well.
"Offensively we really did what we needed to do," commented Bryan. "The players we had out there were really working well. I wish we could put everyone out there, but all our players stayed ready and were prepared to contribute."
The Northview forwards continued their applied pressure after the break as Heather Foxx narrowly missed getting a foot on a cross from Jennifer Woodcox across the goal mouth at the 24 minute mark.
That attempt began a flurry of quality attempts from the Knights spearheaded by Jennifer Woodcox who missed a shot just high a minute after Foxx's attempt. She would get another shot when Tylee Graverson sent a ball upfield after winning a 50/50 ball that found Woodcox, who shot just wide of the net.
The Knights were able to add to their lead with 11:19 left when Graverson dished a pass off to Jennifer Woodcox just past midfield and worked the ball forward. Woodcox would give the ball back up to Graverson who booted a long arcing shot that dropped under the crossbar for a 3-1 advantage.
Ashley and Jennifer Woodcox would combine for the final tally as the pair worked a nice give-and-go play.
Ashley fed Jennifer in the center of the field who worked the shot forward and gave the ball back to Ashley. The pass drew the defenders to the ball and Ashley gave the ball back on a nice assist. Jennifer drilled the fourth goal of the game home with just over a minute remaining.
The win moved Northview's record to 7-10 overall and have won six of their past eight contests heading into sectional play next week where they will face the Vikings once again. The girls will face West Vigo on Thursday in the second game of the Terre Haute South Sectional.