Players and coaches alike celebrated after victory.
- Knights get first win over Patriots in program history -
By CAREY FOX
TERRE HAUTE -- Eleven long years, the Northview boys soccer team has faced Terre Haute North and gone away with a loss. Regular season, sectional defeats have mounted over more than a decade.
On Tuesday however, the Knights reversed their fortunes in the season opener and came away with a 2-1 victory against the Patriots on a goal by junior Zach Childs in the second half.
"It's kind of surreal," admitted head coach Todd LaComba of the victory. "This is my sixth year and every year we've started the year 0-1 against Terre Haute North. But we're going to celebrate tonight, but we've got practice tomorrow and then a game against Crawfordsville on Thursday. Our season is in full swing already."
And for the Knights, the season has certainly gotten off to a great start.
Goalkeeper Taylor Montague kept the Knights close in the first half in which Terre Haute North had several quality shots at the net.
In the 22nd minute, Montague made a nice sliding save off a free kick header by Andy Khudayev of the Patriots. He would also make a quality save after Joey Price got free in the latter stages of the half for a shot on net.
North would eventually get on the board with 11:30 left in the half when Price gathered in a missed pass by the Knights and found the corner of the net open for a 1-0 advantage.
"In the past, the last 3-4 years, we've hit the crossbar, hit the post and its seems like North's woke up and came alive to beat us," said LaComba. "But this is a team that just doesn't stop," he said referring to his 2006 squad. "These guys just don't stop playing."
In fact, the Knights kept their focus and were rewarded with just 34 seconds remaining in the first half when John Latta pulled in a pass from Childs near midfield and beat a couple of defenders to the corner. He dodged the Patriot keeper before shoveling the ball into the open net to tie the score and give the Knights renewed vigor.
"That was huge," said LaComba about the tying goal before the half. "It got the guys going and we just continued that momentum into the second half."
Indeed, the Knights controlled much of the play in the second half starting with a corner kick by Michael Gallion into the box, but a sliding attempt by Brandon Hathaway was blocked.
Northview's Shaun Hardey was up next on defense for the Knights, tracking down a North forward who had hauled in a long pass and was headed for the Knights' net. Hardey took a good angle on the ball and was able to clear the ball in the 30th minute.
The Patriots nearly took the lead on a free kick with 14 minutes remaining, but a header across the goal mouth was saved by Montague setting up Childs' big play.
With less than nine minutes remaining, the Knights were rewarded for more pressure on the North net with a corner kick. Gallion would serve the ball into the box where a loose ball was chipped in by Childs to kickoff a Northview celebration.
"(The win) is really a testament to the team," said LaComba. "We're 17 deep, it was a total team effort today."
The Knights are now 1-0 on the season and will face off with Crawfordsville on the road Thursday at 5 p.m.