Times Staff Reporter
There will be no sharing of a championship this year.
The Northview girls' soccer team defeated Owen Valley Thursday night, 3-0, to win the Western Indiana Conference Championship outright.
"It is a remarkable achievement for the group given that the team lost so many seniors at the end of last season," Northview Coach Tony Alstott said. "The team had a motto of 'If you want to be champion, you have to play like a champion,' and that's what they did."
The victory pushed the Knights' record to 7-6 overall as they finished the conference season undefeated with a record of 6-0.
"The team came out very focused for every conference game," Alstott said. "We have a couple more non-conference games left, but we are hoping to continue our focus into sectionals."
Both the Knights and Patriots came out sloppy to start the game with neither team able to maintain possession for an extended period of time.
Northview was able to settle down 10 minutes into the match and Jenny Woodcox put in the first goal of the game with 28:48 left in the first half. The Patriots disputed the goal, claiming there was a handball infraction prior to the goal, but the score was upheld giving the Knights a 1-0 lead they would never relinquish.
"The ground was hard, causing the ball to bounce around a lot, and we had some trouble getting our timing down," Alstott said. "But Jenny did a great job setting up the offense throughout the game."
Owen Valley made a few pushes into the Knights half of the field, but Northview was able to step up the defensive intensity and continually prevented the Patriots from having scoring opportunities.
"Not only did we get the shutout, but we held Owen Valley to zero shots on goal," Alstott said. "It really is a testimony to how hard the entire team worked."
Alstott credited the team's success in the second half to their passing ability.
"At halftime, I told the team to focus on passing to the outside so they could get behind the fullbacks and create scoring chances," he said. "Our crossing passes were very effective and it led to a great assist by Stormi Raines."
A crossing pass by Raines led to a Knights' goal by Carlee Bell with 22:30 left in the game, pushing Northview's lead out to 2-0.
Bell added insurance goal with 15 minutes left as she took possession of the ball just before Patriots' goalkeeper Jessica Montgomery could grab it and easily netted the Knight's third and final goal of the match.
Alstott said many players stepped up in key moments throughout the season to maintain the team's momentum on their way to the WIC Championship.
"Tiffany Young was an outstanding defensive stopper until Cayla Yockey went out with an injury a few games ago," he said. "We moved Tiffany to sweeper and used the tandem of Jessi and Jacki Moore as stoppers and they all played very well."
Lindsay Woodcox and Lauren Webster suffered minor injuries during the match, but refused to let it take them out of the match.
"They both got banged up a little bit, and I took them out, but they both wanted to go back in and help the team win," Alstott said. "It really shows what big hearts they have to be able to play injured."
Yockey, who injured her knee against Greencastle Sept. 13, has an outside chance of being able to come back for the sectional.
"She has a doctor's appointment Friday (today), and if she is cleared she will be able to get the ISHAA mandated five practices in before sectionals," Alstott said. "We have drawn Greencastle for our first sectional match so it would be big to get her back in time for that game."
The Knights will celebrate Senior Night during their next match at home Monday against North Knox, at 5 p.m. Northview will finish the regular season by traveling to play Southmont Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. before beginning sectional play against Greencastle Oct. 14 at Terre Haute South. A time has not been set for the Knights' sectional match to start.
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Northview 3, Owen Valley 0
NV -- Jenny Woodcox (Stormi Raines) 11:12
NV -- Carlee Bell 57:30, Carlee Bell 65:00
Next game -- Northview plays against North Knox at home for Senior Night Monday at 5 p.m.