ELLETSVILLE -- Winning on the road is never an easy task and when your playing one of the favorites to win your conference, the pressure is amped up even more.
Thus was the job that faced the Northview soccer teams when they traveled down State Road 46 to face the Edgewood Mustangs on Wednesday evening.
Battling to remain on top of the Western Indiana Conference, both Knights' squads came away with hard fought, one-goal, victories.
The boys got a pair of goals from Brandon Hathaway to take a 2-1 decision over the Mustangs and the Northview girls got a beautifully timed shot by a pair of defenders with 26 minutes remaining for a 3-2 victory.
The girls' team improved to 3-0 in the WIC and evened their record at 4-4 overall.
Facing an experienced Mustangs squad that they had beaten 1-0 on the way to a WIC title last season, the Knights got on the board first on a breakaway goal from Krista Stearley at the 18 minute mark.
However, the Mustangs came right back as Megan Hardesty centered a pass in front of the net to Laura Luther for a score just three minutes later.
The scoring flurry continued, swinging back in favor of the Knights just a minute later as Bell sent a lead pass to Bonnie Froderman for a 2-1 halftime lead.
"Froderman's score was crucial to keep Edgewood from gaining any momentum," said coach Tony Alstott.
Bell's eventual winning goal came when she broke free on the right side of the net as Edgewood keeper Jessica Hurt charged at her along with defender Malissa Ridge. Bell remained calm in the face of the pressure and slipped a shot past the pair of Mustangs before the three collided 12 yards out.
"Bell's score gave us the cushion to play smart soccer," commented Alstott. "This was the best we played as a team."
With a 3-1 lead and 26 minutes remaining, the Knights allowed a goal by Luther with less than a minute remaining, but Northview scored the victory.
Anxious to match the girls' victory, the Northview boys took to the pitch following warm-ups to face a determined Mustangs' squad.
The Knights got out to a strong start and took the balance of play to the home standing Mustangs.
"I was impressed with the opening 10 minutes," commented coach Don Bryan. "We hustled to the ball, played it well and pressured the whole team when (Edgewood) had possession."
Hathaway got the scoring underway with his tally before the Mustangs matched him on a rare misplay between keeper Cainan Reeves and Ken Wright.
With a setting sun as the backdrop, cool and slick conditions prevailed later in the game.
Levi Pollard continued his strong play and unselfish offensive play kept the Mustangs chasing the Knights.
Drew Snyder, Logan and Josh Lynch, Mark Reed and Wright all meshed together with Hathaway. All told, 10 different Knights combined for 33 shots to keep the Mustang keeper on his toes.
In the second half, it was Hathaway again that found the net to provide the eventual winning score of the night.
"This is the kind of effort we need," said Bryan. "We have a big task ahead this Saturday at Brown County. They, like Edgewood were considered potential conference champions. The WIC is getting stronger as a whole and we'll keep playing one game at a time."
Both squads head to Brown County on Saturday with the girls' game beginning at 11 a.m. to be followed by the boys' game.
Nv -- Krista Stearley
EW -- Laura Luther (Megan Hardesty)
Nv -- Bonnie Froderman (Carlee Bell)
Nv -- Carlee Bell
EW -- Laura Luther (McKenzie Clevenger)
Nv -- Brandon Hathaway
Nv -- Brandon Hathaway
EW -- Zach Lechler