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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Knights headed to sectional semifinals

Friday, October 14, 2005

Northview's Abby Birkey keeps her eyes on the ball while shielding off a West Vigo defender during Thursday's sectional win.

TERRE HAUTE -- The Northview girls soccer team is hitting their stride at exactly the right time.

Coming into the Terre Haute South Sectional, the youthful Knights had won three straight games including a regular season ending win over first round sectional foe West Vigo.

The Knights continued their hot streak on Thursday night to keep their season going with a 5-1 victory over the Vikings.

Northview dominated the early play on a field made slick by what started out as a light drizzle.

The Northview forwards put the heat on high in the opening minutes and were rewarded quickly when Ashley Woodcox diligently played a ball in the West Vigo box, scrapping for a shot after Sage Graverson sent the ball into the zone. Woodcox would finally get the shot she needed and chipped the ball to the corner of the goal, scooting past the Viking keeper just 2:20 into the game.

Less than five minutes later with Northview keeping the pressure on, Abby Birkey sent a corner kick into the West Vigo box where Woodcox put a foot on the ball that then was deflected into the goal by a Viking defender for a 2-0 advantage.

Ashley Woodcox once more was rewarded with some heads up play at the 29:10 mark when, on a Viking goal kick, she hung back to face the keeper and received a weak ball, settled the ball, and fired it to the corner for a blindingly quick 3-0 lead for the Knights that effectively put the Vikings in the corner.

"We're a young team, lot of freshmen and sophomores and it took us awhile to mesh," said coach Don Bryan after the win. "(The team) has a lot of talent and they're playing strong."

As the rain picked up to a steady pour, the Knights settled in for a workman-like defensive effort, corralling West Vigo's speedy forwards Leaerin Moore and Sarah Klotz who was seemingly all over the field. However, the Northview backline of Cayla Yockey, Abby Birkey and Tiffany Young did an excellent job of keeping tabs on the freshman and sophomores.

In the midfield, Kelsey Haring, Tylee Graverson, Heather Foxx and Sage Graverson did an excellent job of keeping the pressure on the Vikings with long passes to the Northview forwards.

After taking a three goal lead into the half, West Vigo put on a bit of a burst of their own, pushing the ball forward and feeding Moore and her offensive teammates. They would find success at the 34:23 mark when a shot along the Northview endline skipped through for a score to narrow the lead.

The West Vigo score was just what Northview needed to awaken and return to their offensive play.

Jennifer Woodcox put together a couple of nice chances on long passes from her midfielder and Birkey blasted a shot off the crossbar off a direct kick with 27 minutes left. Kylee Thacker got free for some solid chances late in the contest, but it was Jennifer Woodcox who got tallied a pair of late goals when first, Rachel Roeschlein took off on a break and fired a shot that deflected from the keeper. Woodcox finished off the fourth goal of the game.

With 15 minutes left, Brittney Tucker received a long pass into the West Vigo defensive zone and got off a hard shot that again wasn't handled by the Viking keeper and Woodcox put home the score.

"We had some good team work tonight," said Bryan. "There was good hustle, we're playing well right now. . . We control our destiny heading into Saturday."

The Knights (8-10 overall) will take on Sullivan on Saturday in the second semifinal game at noon. Greencastle will take on Terre Haute South at 10 a.m.

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