Times Sports Editor
A couple of unlucky goals broke open a close game in the first half of the soccer openers for both Terre Haute North and Northview.
The Patriots scored their first goal off a free kick that escaped the grasp of Knights' keeper Cainan Reeves. Unfortunately it didn't escape the opportunistic foot of Luke Lakstins, who scored the first goal of the game.
The tally eventually would stand as North added two more first half goals on the way to a 3-0 victory.
Despite the loss, Northview coach Don Bryan saw positives in his defense.
"I'm not worried about our defense," said Bryan. "We're missing a three-year starter (Robert Plummer) and we adjusted well. This easily could have been a scoreless game."
While Terre Haute North had the best of the offensive chances in the game, Northview wasn't without several of their own.
Michael Ball presented a centering pass to Ken Wright early in the first half that was saved by the Patriots' keeper. Wright also sent one ringing off the cross bar just eight minutes into the contest.
But it was the Patriots who opened the scoring on the long free kick with 19:12 remaining in the first half.
With 11:30 left in the period, Reeves made a great leaping save on a North shot, but the Patriots followed quickly with another shot that found net. Lakstins had added his second goal, this one on an assist by Alex Walters.
The Knights missed on a corner kick opportunity with six minutes left in the game and Drew Snyder came up empty on a run to a 50/50 ball in the North box that was booted away.
North finished their scoring with just 52 seconds left in the half when the Patriots countered a Northview rush with one of their own. Ziad Zaher scored on a feed from Andrew Kelley to cap the scoring.
The second half saw Northview tighten its defense, holding the Patriots without a score. The Knights had a nice combo run from Nick Hensler up the sideline before passing ahead to Nick Brown, who found Wright for a shot that was wide.
Levi Pollard kept the deficit at three for the Knights when he blocked a point blank shot in the goal mouth.
Wright made a late run with 15 minutes remaining, chasing down a long ball near the box and firing a shot parallel to the endline. The shot was bobbled momentarily, but corralled for a save.
"We need to fine tune some things, but I thought Cainan (Reeves) played one of the best games he ever has, especially this early in the season," said Bryan.
"We just have to understand that sometimes the calls just don't go for you," Bryan continued. "There were definitely some positives."
Northview hosts Crawfordsville on Thursday evening beginning at 5 p.m.
At T.H. North
Terre Haute North 3, Northview 0
THN -- Lakstins
THN -- Lakstins (Walters)
THN -- Zaher (Kelley)
Next game- Northview hosts Crawfordsville on Thursday at 5 p.m.
JV -- T.H. North 14, Northview 0