Times Sports Editor
Sometimes the ball bounces your way and other times it goes your opponent's. In Wednesday's Western Indiana Conference soccer doubleheader against Sullivan, Northview got few of the lucky bounces in dropping a 3-0 decision in the girls' match and falling 2-1 in the boys' match-up.
"It's very disappointing, especially when you feel that those free kicks, you can blame a referee for the outcome of a game, but unfortunately those calls didn't help," Northview girls' coach Lauren Trennel said.
With 26 minutes left in the second half, a whistle gave Sullivan a free kick near midfield that seemed harmless enough. However, Sullivan senior Kylee Willis drilled a long shot that reached the net, just over the outstretched arms of Northview keeper, Mannah Mace.
Just three minutes later, Sullivan received another direct kick and this one reached the box where the ball was deflected around before Adison South deposited the shot into the net much to the chagrin of Trennel, who believed there was some contact with Mace in goal.
"The second was unfortunate because (the officials) didn't see that a Sullivan player hit our keeper in the box," Trennel said. "That would have been a no goal. It was a just an unfortunate end to the game."
Northview had some of its own chances as a free kick found Olivia Fulton, who placed a shot wide. Moments later it was Haley Zadeii, who got a shot on net that was saved.
After Sullivan had taken the 3-0 lead, Mace kept her team close with a nice save in traffic with 18 minutes remaining. Melissa Lummis gave the Knights a good look with 11 minutes left as she nearly deflected a shot home.
Hannah Minor led the team with three shots on net as Northview mustered only eight shots while Mace made eight saves.
However, Sullivan's defense was able to finish out the shutout to increase their league record to 4-0. Northview falls to 1-1 in the WIC and 4-3 overall.
In the boys' contest, Northview came out the aggressor as Sean Brockman ripped a shot just a couple minutes into the game that was saved by Sullivan keeper, Mason O'Neal. The Knights looked to use its speed up front to make runs on forward passes and the method nearly worked during the opening 10 minutes. Brockman fed a charging Zach Rodgers, whose shot drifted just high.
"We're getting shots. That's something we've worked on a lot and getting those touches and getting them on goal," Northview coach Dustin Jorgensen said. "A lot of them deflected off the keeper and we talked about that and working on crashing (the goal). We're so close. That result could have gone either way on 10 different plays on the field."
However, as lucky bounces go, Sullivan got the first one as a wayward shot on net caught the heel of a Northview defender and deflected home 14 minutes into the game.
Suddenly trailing 1-0, the Knights kept up the pressure as Chandler Reeves' curling shot was just wide and the rebound by Mark Underwood was deflected. Rodgers was just wide on a long shot with 18 minutes left in the half as Sullivan took a 1-0 lead into break.
In the second half, Northview would find the equalizer 10 minutes in as Derek Snyder sent home a rebounded shot by Brockman to tie the game at 1-all.
The Knights nearly took the lead minutes later as Reeves had a breakaway chance saved by O'Neal in net. Sullivan wasted little time in regrouping in a counterattack.
A pass into the corner of the Northview box drew keeper Matt Malone forward along the endline and Sullivan's Tucker Smith was able to dart around him and deposit a sharply angled shot in net with 24 minutes remaining.
The Knights had some chances down the stretch, but couldn't find the equalizer in the 2-1 loss.
"We're playing the way we want now," Jorgensen said. "The first goal was just a silly mistake and the second one was just a great shot on Sullivan's part. We played great. That's one thing, when we reflect from last season to this one and this performance, it's what we need. We didn't win obviously, but we're looking good."
The Knights drop to 1-5-1 in boys' soccer, 0-1-1 in the WIC while the girls are now 1-1 WIC, 4-3 overall. The boys travel to Greencastle on Saturday along with the girls beginning at 10:45 a.m.