Times Sports Editor
For the first 40 minutes of Tuesday's non-conference girls' soccer game, Crawfordsville had their secret weapon hidden beneath a multi-hued jersey between the pipes as its goal keeper.
However, in the second half, the Athenians unleashed Alex Gasaway from the keeper's garb to take flight in the Northview end of the field.
The result was that Gasaway had a foot in both of Crawfordsville's second half goals, including the game-winner with just 14 seconds remaining in the Athenians' 2-1 victory.
"Gasaway is their best player," observed Northview coach Tony Alstott. "They hid her from us in the first half, but it didn't take the girls long to figure out who she was in the second half."
Northview had a second half lead following Carlee Bell's goal with 4:33 remaining in a first half that saw the Knights play aggressive, attacking soccer.
Gasaway presence in the second half appeared to put Northview in a decidedly more defensive stance as the lanky midfielder sparked Crawfordsville's attack.
Alstott pointed out that the Athenians took control of the pace of the game late in the second half, which was the defining factor in the loss.
The Athenians kept the pressure on Northview as Gasaway used her size and foot work to control the ball and lead her teammates into scoring opportunities.
With 25 minutes remaining, Gasaway's long chip shot was kicked aside by Northview keeper, Shalee Hathaway, who was strong in her varsity start.
Just minutes later, Hathaway saved a point blank shot from Gasaway, getting a fist on the ball to guide it over the cross bar.
The Knights counter attacked as Bonnie Froderman got a shot off with 18 minutes remaining and Lauren Webster added another shot for the Knights on a long, looping shot that was a tad too high.
Northview kept up the press as Webster found Bell on a connecting through pass between defenders. Bell ripped off a shot, but the Athenian's keeper gathered it up.
Crawfordsville responded by tying the score at the 11:21 mark after officials signaled a Northview hand ball approximately 25 yards out of the net.
Gasaway took the shot and placed a curving long shot into the net to tie the score at 1-apiece.
With the decision hanging in the balance over the final 10 minutes, Crawfordsville's continued ventures into Northview's defensive zone paid off once more.
The Athenians earned a corner kick with under a minute remaining and Gasaway lined up for the direct kick.
The junior placed the ball perfectly in front of the Northview net where it found a charging Haley Horner, who boded the ball into the net with just 14 seconds remaining for the winning tally.
Northview had plenty of chances to get on the board early as Jenny Woodcox broke free in the first minute of the game, but her shot was blocked wide by Gasaway in net.
Woodcox and Krista Stearley each had shots on net during the opening 10 minutes, but Crawfordsville kept the game scoreless.
"Jenny played a good game," said Alstott. "Especially in the first half. She gave us a lot of opportunities that we just couldn't finish.
Hathaway played quite a game herself, stopping a chance along the endline by Crawfordsville.
"Shalee did a good job for us," commented Alstott. "She had some saves that she had to reach for and she did a good job of communicating with her defense.
Hathaway had eight saves in the game and was aided by Bethany Wright and Woodcox' two steals.
The game remained scoreless until Bell found the net on an assist from Hannah Pond and Woodcox.
"This was a game of adjustments and in the second half we just didn't make enough," said Alstott.
Northview falls to 5-5 overall and hosts South Vermillion on Thursday evening for a WIC contest at 5 p.m.
Next game: Northview (5-5 overall, 4-0 WIC) hosts South Vermillion on Thursday at 5 p.m.