Top: Shaun Hardey (#1) chases down a pass from a teammate as John Latta (background) looks on.
Bottom Left: Northview senior Jairus Martinez and West Vigo's Francesco Tripo go up for a loose ball during Wednesday's sectional game.
Bottom Right: Freshman Brandon Hathaway dribbles upfield against West Vigo on Wednesday.
TERRE HAUTE -- Five weeks ago, the Northview boys soccer team defeated West Vigo by a convincing 2-0 score on the Vikings home turf to help the Knights on their way to a conference championship.
Unfortunately for the Knights, the Vikings returned the favor on Wednesday night for stakes a bit higher. The right to continue in the postseason.
Northview got started a bit slow in the first half and the Vikings pounced on the opportunity to take the action to the Knights.
New West Vigo addition, Fletcher Kim, put a great deal of the pressure on Northview including a shot wide of the goal nine minutes into the game. The Vikings also placed a corner kick across the goal mouth that Gilberto Neto flicked wide on a header.
Fletcher would put the Vikings on the board at the midpoint of the first half after a shot that Northview's keeper Taylor Montague deflected wide. Fletcher would get a foot on the rebound to take a 1-0 advantage.
"We came out flat," commented Northview coach Todd LaComba. "In the first half we were really flat and we were probably lucky to not be down by more than one goal."
Montague would make a nice sliding save on a hard shot by Neto with six minutes left in the game to keep the advantage at just one for West Vigo.
The Knights began to get a few of their own chances with about 10 minutes left in the game as Jairus Martinez got a couple of opportunities from long distance. Shane Boyd also had some chances but the Knights couldn't find the equalizer before break.
In the second half, the Vikings came out quickly once again and the Knights were on their heels following a long shot from Cameron Griffin that snuck into the corner of the Northview goal for a 2-0 advantage.
The Knights would come up with a few quality chances in the waning minutes with Shaun Hardey making a nice run up the sideline, putting a couple of fakes on the West Vigo defenders before firing a shot just wide of the net.
"Jordan Pond, Boyd and Hardey played their hearts out," commented LaComba. "But as a team we didn't play our style. We resorted to more of a kickball style and we can't win like that."
The Knights were unable to find the net successfully in a chippy game that had its share of yellow cards. The Vikings will advance to play the winner of the second game of Wednesday night between Terre Haute South and Sullivan.
"It's frustrating to beat them at their place and to come out flat tonight," commented LaComba. "But I thought the guys got a lot of good out of the season."
The Knights did put together a school record number of wins as part of a 9-7-1 season that included a Western Indiana Conference championship.