Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- Drawing the defending sectional champion in the opening round of the postseason isn't exactly fortuitous, but the Northview boys' soccer team put forth a very game effort before dropping a 5-0 decision to Terre Haute South in the opening match of the Terre Haute North Sectional.
"I'm not disappointed," Northview coach Don Bryan said of the Knights' play against the Braves. "I would have liked to get one in the goal, but three of those goals were good shots. You can't take anything away from those shots."
South, which defeated the Knights by a 6-1 score in the final regular season game on Sept. 28, made some changes in its lineup for the postseason opener as did the Knights. However, Northview couldn't corral, the Braves Nick Henderson.
The Braves provided pressure from the opening whistle as Ian Cook sent a header off the cross bar a minute into the game and the Braves missed out on a score when an indirect curled into the net a minute later, but didn't touch another South player before finding nylon.
Northview had their own chance at the 34:48 mark as Alex Frankville's direct kick was saved by the Braves Spencer Ooley-viray.
South would get on the board moments later as Nick Henderson broke free of the defense and fired a shot across to the far corner of the net. Less than two minutes later, Henderson repeated as his shot found the goal after being deflected in traffic in front of the net.
From there however, Northview was able to settle in and kept the Braves scoreless due to its defense and some very nice work in goal by Guy Wiss.
Stinnett saved a potential third goal two minutes later as Josh Pigg raced up the sideline and fired a shot back across the box past a diving Wiss. Stinnett however was there to make a sliding deflection.
Wiss maintained his solid play by stopping a point-blank header off a corner kick and followed at the nine-minute mark by saving a shot fro David Schmitz.
With a heavy workload however, Pigg finally got on the board when he rocketed a shot under the crossbar from 25 yards out with 1:09 left in the half.
"That was a good shot," Bryan said referring to Pigg's goal. "It wouldn't have mattered who was in goal, that's what we knew (Pigg) could do. Chalk it up to experience. They play in the MIC Conference and it's a better conference, they play a lot of great teams."
South came out in the second half and provided Wiss with some more work as he made a pair of diving saves in the first 10 minutes after the break. Henderson would score the game's fourth goal on a one-time shot just outside box.
Northview put together some of their own rallies on offense as Frankville, Sean Brockman, Nick Ross and Trey Boor worked for open combinations, but South's speed denied them a quality scoring opportunity for much of the game.
However, with 28 minutes left in the contest, Boor booted a long shot from 30 yards out that bounced behind the keeper and appeared destined for the Knights' first score. However, the Braves' Scout Wrin made a stellar bicycle kick on the goal line to deny Northview the strike.
The Knights' Nick Brown had a shot go wide minutes later before the Braves' Edward Momanyi used his speed to get past Dustin Ethington and send home the game's final score.
You take those first two away, we were slow to start, and you are looking at a whole different ball game, nobody gave up, they kept hustling," Bryan said afterwards. "Solid play, foul-wise, it looked like it was 10-to-one, just good play. I liked the combinations (Northview) was trying to put together. (South) is a good team, we knew that. It looks bright for the future, I just feel bad for the seniors. (Jonathan) Stinnett, (Levi) Pollard and (Alex) Frankville have done extremely well. They've been solid for us."
The Braves move on to the sectional semifinal against Terre Haute North on Saturday beginning at noon.
Terre Haute North Sectional
THS -- Nick Henderson, 32:44
THS -- Nick Henderson, 31:01
THS -- Josh Pigg, 1:09
THS -- Nick Henderson, 31:18
THS -- Edward Momanyi, 23:12
Northview finishes the season with a record of 3-14-1. Terre Haute South advances to face on Saturday at noon.