Wednesday's girls' soccer game against West Vigo might have been one of those contests for the Northview Knights.
On Monday, Northview gave up a 2-0 lead at home to visiting Cascade only to fall 3-2 to the Cadets. That loss could have proven to be an early season backbreaker for this Northview team, but there seemed to be very little hangover from that game as the Knights took the field for their Western Indiana Conference opener against the Vikings.
Northview scored early and often to take a 3-0 halftime lead on the way to a 5-0 shutout that could go a long way in bolstering the Knights' confidence for upcoming games.
"I think we learned from the Cascade game," commented coach Tony Alstott. "We subbed early and often and got great bench support. All of them gave us 15-20 minutes and when we put our starters back in, they kept the energy up the rest of the game."
With the heat and humidity playing an obvious role, the Knights' substitution ability was important as was getting an early lead.
Jenny Woodcox got Northview on the board early when she took a feed from Carlee Bell that set up a one-on-one opportunity with West Vigo's goal keeper. The Knights' junior had her first shot stopped but she followed up as the ball squirted free and found the back of the net just eight minutes into the game.
Jenny and Lindsay Woodcox worked together for a good opportunity just minutes later, but Jenny's shot was wide of the net.
She would get plenty more chances in the match.
Kali Walter showed great awareness along the sideline, following a ball that straddled t he line. The West Vigo defender gave up on the ball but Walter followed and sent a pass upfield to set up a nice chance for Woodcox. Her shot was saved but the tone had been set.
The Knights kept the pressure on the Vikings as a Graverson to Bell chance was sent wide.
After all the near misses, the Knights finished their next chance as Abby Birkey blocked down a goal kick, settled the ball and worked by a Viking defender before finding an open Lindsay Woodcox. She would maneuver forward to the top of the box before pushing a feed to Jenny Woodcox who quickly hooked a curling shot into the corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
"It was good to have Jenny and Carlee back in good form tonight," commented Alstott. "We were finally able to convert some chances and get them into the back of the net."
The Knights finished the half with a three goal lead when Bell got a breakaway and her shot deflected off the Viking keepr for a 3-0 lead at the break.
The second half was more of the same for the Knights who shook off any potential letdowns when Jenny Woodcox rung up a hat trick when she scored off a boot from Christina Arvin. The final tally came from Bell who got loose along the sideline and turned on the speed. Her shot from 30 feet out was just inside the post to complete the scoring.
"I thought everyone played with more confidence. I think in the Cascade game that the girls had it won, but our emphasis at halftime tonight was that we had to continue working in the second half," said Alstott.
The Knights also got some strong defensive play from Cayla Yockey, Abby Birkey and Tiffany Young who kept the ball in the Vikings' defensive half. The group played a big role in feeding the ball forward to their mids and forwards to keep West Vigo under pressure.
"We made a starting change tonight in moving Abby (Birkey) from midfield to fullback because I know she has the leg to send the ball downfield," said Alstott.
In net, Christina Arvin saved five shots in the first half and Rachel Alstott saved one in the second half.
Northview improved to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the WIC and will host Danville on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Northview 5, West Vigo 0