In an effort to stay prepared heading into sectional action on Wednesday afternoon, Northview's boys soccer team scheduled a late season game with Mooresville on Thursday afternoon, coming away with a 2-0 defeat.
"Our intention was to keep the guys playing games to stay prepared for sectionals, the loss is tough...especially since we played so well," commented coach Todd LaComba. "But you have to remember why we scheduled this and from that perspective, our goal was accomplished."
The late season addition of the game became necessary when the Knights' October 3 game with Monrovia was canceled, leaving Northview with a two week gap between their final regular season game and the beginning of sectional play. So Northview came up with the game against the Pioneers, who also had a canceled game with Monrovia who didn't have enough players to field a team.
The two squads faced off for a scoreless first half that saw a balance of competition according to LaComba. "I thought we actually outplayed them the first half, we had more control, but never got a serious opportunity to finish a shot."
While the Knights couldn't get a shot to find the net before the halftime break, Mooresville got on the scoreboard with the benefit of a bit of luck midway through the second half.
With 24 minutes left in the contest, a Mooresville forward gathered the ball in the Northview penalty area and, after a collision in the box with the Knights keeper, Taylor Montague, the ball trickled across the goal mouth.
"Taylor (Montague) was a little banged-up, but will be fine," said LaComba. "We took him out at that point to avoid any serious problems. We did similar things with a few other guys. Keeping everyone healthy was a priority."
The Knights had perhaps their best shot at a score when Shane Boyd took possession of the ball and brought it upfield before finding Jarius Martinez on a cross. Martinez' shot hit the post and bounced clear as Mooresville retained the lead. "The play was great, a little unfortunate on the shot," mentioned LaComba. "But those types of plays will be fine tuned and I think we'll get them in vs. West Vigo (in sectionals)."
Mooresville would add to their lead with just 10 minutes left in the contest the Pioneers scored off some traffic in the box.
"Jacob Lynch filled in the goal for Taylor and did a fine job, he allowed one goal, but his performance was great considering that he has not played GK in a game since the beginning of September," noted LaComba.
Montague had 13 saves in net for Northview and Lynch added another six for the Knights. Defensively, Michael Gallion had nine saves for the Knights who completed their first winning season at 9-6-1 overall. Northview will face off with West Vigo on Wednesday in the first sectional game at 5 p.m at Terre Haute North High School.