Meyers, Gawelko lead Tigers to soccer playoff win
The Northwestern boys soccer program has been known to be successful, and one of the premier programs in District 11 for over a decade.
Even when the games don't mean as much, and the roster isn't set in stone, the players perform like it is the state final, with great touches and ball movement, creating easy scoring opportunities.
But the hard part about summer league soccer for head coach Nate Hunsicker and assistant coach Derrick Reinert has been the numbers game, and not knowing who will be at each game due to other commitments.
Last Monday evening in the quarterfinals of the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League, the Tigers used what they had and took down Central Catholic's B team 4-1 at Lehigh University's Stabler Arena campus fields.
Noah Meyers and Kenny Gawelko each tallied two goals apiece in helping Northwestern advance to Wednesday's semifinals against Emmaus, which was played after Press deadline.
"We wanted to build off of the success from the end of last year," said Reinert of the team's runner up finish in District 11 Class AA. "We lost three seniors from that team, and even though it's a small number, they were big losses. These kids are stepping up and doing a very good job of getting better every time they step on the field. We can't ask for anything more."
Gawelko got the Tigers on the board in the first half off a volley from a pass by Meyers. But it took Northwestern a while to get going. There were a couple of missed opportunities in front of net, but once the Tigers got that first one, they kept the pressure up.
Three goals in quick succession in the second half (two from Meyers and another from Gawelko) put the game out of reach, and the defense held firm and helped Kyle Bellhorn to only have to make one save.
"I think the big thing was we possessed the ball really well that half," said Reinert. "In that first half we got the ball in the offensive third but didn't finish great. We finished a lot better in the second half and passed the ball better. When you have that shot you have to take it. The key was to finish those opportunities we had, and we did a better job of that in the second half."
Emmaus advanced to the semifinal with a 4-0 win over Saucon Valley.