Times Sports Editor
The Northview girls soccer team followed up a strong effort in a win over Greencastle on Saturday morning by scoring early against visiting Monrovia on Monday. However, the Bulldogs returned the favor by getting a tying goal with under nine minutes left in the game to gain a 2-2 draw with the Knights.
Krista Stearley got Northview on the board in the second minute on an assist from Alexis Bender to put the Knights ahead quickly.
However, Monrovia answered back with a tying tally in the 14th minute from Ronja Wieboldt.
With a steady wind blowing across the field in fairly warm temperatures, the bulk of the play went end to end a lot more than coach Lauren Trennel would have liked during the early going.
"It was a lot more back-and-forth than I would have liked and the girls would have liked I'm sure," Trennel said. "The wind gave us some trouble in the first half and (Monrovia's) aggressiveness gave us some trouble. We have some younger players that are getting used to playing at the high school level because they might come from a Y league where you can't (play aggressive)."
The Knights had a couple of excellent chances late in the first half and finally capitalized with 5:51 remaining before the break as Stearley played a long pass into Monrovia's offensive end and chased it down while side stepping the Bulldogs' keeper. Freshman Melissa Lummis was in the right place as she gathered in the ball and slipped a low shot into the net for a 2-1 halftime advantage.
After the break, the Knights came out aggressive and had a couple of solid opportunities as both Gwen Snow and Stearley had a pair of shot and Lummis added three more for the Knights.
The Knights worked a good combination from one side of the net to the other as Becky Paugh, Allison McWilliams and Snow looked for an opening, but were unable to get a clear shot on goal.
Northview clearly had the better of the early chances during the second half. However, it was Monrovia that broke the scoreless drought in the half as the Bulldogs had the ball in the penalty box and got a point blank shot off that was blocked by the Knights' Andi Purcell. Unfortunately for the Knights however, the ball bounced directly to Desiree Corona-Crary, who scored the tying goal with 8:48 left.
Trennel pointed to the fairly warm conditions as a reason her team lost some of its momentum down the stretch.
"I think part of it was just the weather affecting us. We have a lot of girls coming out because they had cottonmouth, were tired or hot, to get some water," Trennel said. "So during that period where we were making a lot of subs we lost some of our momentum."
Both teams fought diligently to the final horn and the Knights nearly had the game-winner as Stearley broke free with a minute remaining and put the ball in the net only to have it nullified on an offside call.
The game ended moments later in a 2-2 draw that pushed the Knights' season record to 4-2-1 overall and 1-1 in the WIC. Both the girls and boys' teams will host Edgewood on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Nv -- Krista Stearley (Alexis Bender)
Mon -- Ronja Rieboldt
Nv -- Melissa Lummis (Stearley)
Mon -- Andi Corona-Carary