Gawelko’s game-winner beats ND
Northwestern needed a spark. The score was tied 0-0 in the middle of the second half. Notre Dame (Green Pond) had just as many quality chances on net as the Tigers, but both goal keepers were standing tall. It was looking as if this Colonial League clash was going to go into extra time.
But then Kenny Gawelko settled a pass onto his feet from the back end, turned towards goal, and chipped the Crusaders goalie from just inside the 18. That proved to be enough as Northwestern’s defense held firm for a 1-0 win Tuesday night in Green Pond.
The win meant that the Tigers clinched the top seed in next week’s Colonial League playoffs.
“It was a big goal for us as a team,” said Gawelko. “I mean it was the game-winner. We needed a goal, something to get us going, because without it who knows maybe they get a cheap one here or there. We were working hard all game, and it came down just to a flick.”
Each team traded blows in the first half, with Northwestern out-shooting Notre Dame 5-4, but both could have easily seen some of those shots go into the back of the net.
When the teams came back out after halftime, it was the Tigers seized that opportunity.
With 19 minutes to go, Gawelko saw a pass come his way. After he controlled it, he took a turn towards net and chipped a shot that made its way over the goalie for the goal.
“Our defense won the ball on the back left side,” said Gawelko. “Dominic Mertz was running up the left wing, and I saw a gap between the center back and the right back. I put my hand up and he found me. So I just needed a touch and I flicked it over their keeper.”
The Tigers have only one loss on their record, a 1-0 nonleague setback taht came in overtime against Salisbury. They will finish their season Thursday against Catty.
“We just want to keep things rolling like we are,” added Gawelko. “We have to take every game seriously like its our last. We’re looking forward to the playoffs and what’s ahead.”