Sophomore Tylee Graverson tied for the team lead in assists last season with six.
By CAREY FOX
Following a record setting year in 2005, many eyes are on the Northview girls soccer program to continue upon their improvement from last season.
Many of the pieces are already in place as Northview returns nine starters from a team that tied a program record for victories (8) and shattered the school record for single season goals. The squad scored 47 goals last year, breaking the previous mark of 36 registered in 2004.
Sophomore Jenny Woodcox returns to the team following a superb freshman year in which she led the squad in season goals (14), shots and points (32). She'll be complimented up front by classmate Tylee Graverson and junior Ashley Woodcox, who shared co-Offensive MVP honors with her sister Jenny.
"Our three starting forwards play very well together," commented first year head coach Tony Alstott of his front three. "They bring a lot of excitement to this year's team by the way they attack the goal."
In the midfield, the Knights return two-time All-Western Indiana Conference player, Ahnya Alstott. The senior returns after being a co-captain last season with the since graduated Kelsey Haring. Last season Alstott broke the career assist mark previously held by Frieda Crispin in 1999. Alstott currently has 16 for her career and hopes to significantly build upon that mark this year.
Her midfield partner, Heather Foxx, shared in plenty of honors as well last year, sharing honors for most steals over the season (74).
"Heather led the team in steals last year and has worked hard in the offseason to improve her game even more," noted Alstott of the junior.
Freshman Carlee Bell will hold down the third midfield position after finishing off a decorated track career at North Clay last season. According to Coach Alstott, Bell's athletic ability was a key in her winning the starting nod.
"Carlee won a starting spot by showing speed, stamina and a good grasp for where she needs to be," commented Alstott of the freshman.
While Northview's offense proved potent last year, setting additional team marks for assists (41, breaking 2004 record of 34), points (135, breaking 2004 mark of 106) and 424 shots (breaking 2002 record of 366); the defensive effort could be the key to the team's continued success.
The defense is led by co-MVP and All-WIC players, Christina Arvin in goal and fullback Abby Birkey.
The pair enter their junior season with a good feel for each other's ability and style of play which should be a catalyst for their teammates in the backfield.
"New Assistant coach Lenea Harless has been a great asset in teaching our keepers and fullbacks to recognize and defend the opponents' attacks," commented Alstott.
Arvin set school records for most saves in a season with 224 and for minutes played with 1,413. Birkey was co-leader in steals and tied Ashley Woodcox and Tylee Graverson with most season assists with six.
Sophomores Tiffany Young and Cayla Yockey were very influential in their play last season and will be key in helping to replace standout ChCarra Yockey's graduation loss. The pair will be important in holding down the defensive wings for the Knights.
"(Young and Yockey) have the speed and stamina that are needed in transition," said Alstott of the duo. Even more important, Alstott added is that ". . .They have the mental toughness that is necessary when the opponent is on the attack."
Last season's defensive player of the year, Sage Graverson, is currently recovering from injury and will provide a huge lift once she returns to the pitch. Senior Stephanie Plummer adds in another solid option on defense while both sophomore Ashley Clarke and junior Emma Reed will also play important minutes for the Knights.
Sophomore Rachel Alstott will be the backup goal keeper for the Knights and has greatly improved under the watchful eye of Coach Harless. Junior Sheila Spencer will give Northview some versatility in her ability to play both midfield and forward.
Newcomers to the team include freshmen Brook Myers who has good speed and a no quit attitude according to coach Alstott. Classmate Kali Walter brings a good attitude and a hunger to improve according to the coaching staff while fellow freshman Brianna Fagg is making good decisions in practice and Jessie Moore has been a good student of the game thus far.
The coaching staff, in addition to Alstott and Harless, is complimented by third-year assistant Garth Woodcox who, according to Alstott, brings the technical expertise needed to improve ball handling skills on the field.
The Knights open the season this evening at Terre Haute North beginning at