Northwestern was a game away from reaching the District 11 Class 4A championship game last season. A tough loss to Saucon Valley ended the Tigers’ run.
A year later, the top-seeded Tigers are back in the same position.
Northwestern scored 47 unanswered points to pull away from No. 8 Lehighton last Saturday night in the quarterfinals, 54-14. The win advanced the Tigers to the semifinals against No. 4 Central Catholic.
Northwestern head coach Kelly Bleam could see the nerves in freshman goalie Naomi Glassberg during pregame warmups.
But once she stepped on the field, Glassberg looked like a seasoned veteran.
Glassberg pitched a shutout and recorded seven saves as the top-seeded Tigers held off No. 2 Southern Lehigh 1-0 for the Colonial League girls soccer championship on Thursday night at Salisbury High School. The win ended a four-year run for the Spartans as league champions.
Northwestern head coach Nate Hunsicker admits he was a bit stubborn about changing things up schematically. But the move he made may have saved the Tigers’ season.
After playing in the Hamburg tournament back on September 7, Hunsicker veered away from the Tigers’ traditional 4-5-1 alignment. Since then, Northwestern (11-3-2 overall, 9-2-1 in Colonial League) has lost just one of its last 10 games.
The defense has pitched seven shutouts since the switch. And Saturday’s 7-0 romp over Catasauqua was the latest in that string of shutouts, its sixth consecutive scoreless showing.
Due to two unfortunate injuries to two top hitters, Northwestern volleyball head coach Lexi Ashburne had to adjust the Tigers’ lineup yet again for Tuesday’s Colonial League match against Palmerton. One of the biggest changes was shifting senior Sam McGinley from outside hitter into the middle.
And while things looked shaky at times for the Tigers as a unit, McGinley looked impressive in the middle. She finished with a game-high six kills as the Tigers (5-5) swept Palmerton in straight sets (25-20, 25-20, 25-20).
Derek Holmes, a 2019 graduate of Northwestern High School, had a memorable athletic career in a number of sports. During his senior football season, he was named a Colonial League First-Team all-star at defensive end and a Second-Team selection at tight end on offense. He scored six touchdowns and record four sacks a season ago.
His younger brother, Justin, is out to make a name for himself as well and add to the family tradition. Saturday’s game against Wilson was a big step in doing just that for the Tiger sophomore.
Northwestern field hockey head coach Lissa Opolsky has been fortunate with the number of gifted goal scorers her team has this fall. There have been over 10 players to put the ball in the cage this year so far for the Lady Tigers.
That scoring distribution has been a key part in Northwestern’s fast start to the fall season. The Lady Tigers (2-1-1 overall) won two of their three games in the opening week of the season, which included dominant victories over Palisades and Catasauqua by scores of 8-3 and 7-1, respectively.
The Northwestern girls’ volleyball team was a game away from qualifying for districts last season. Instead, Saucon Valley beat out the Lady Tigers and earned the No. 7 seed in the Class 3A tournament.
Head coach Lexy Ashburne is hoping the Lady Tigers (7-11 overall, 4-6 in Colonial League in 2018) get another chance at districts in 2019.
Northampton pitcher Justin Aungst took a few steps off the mound towards the Giants dugout in the fourth inning, having thought a called third strike was coming from the home plate umpire. Instead, the former Salisbury ace had to walk back up the dirt after a called ball.
Limeport’s Damin Muth singled on the next pitch to bring home the Bulls’ first run of the game, leaving Aungst visibly upset.
If it wasn’t for a 99-cent slushie, Northwestern’s Alyssa Zack may have never had a running career.
“My dad used to take me out on runs when I was younger,” Zack said. “I would do the Lehigh Valley Little Road Runners kids races. It was kind of fun, but my dad afterwards would always take me to the gas station to get the 99-cent slushie.”
So, it wasn’t the running that kept Zack coming back. It was more the slushies.
The Northwestern boys soccer team finished with just two losses in summer league play, including the playoffs.
One team was responsible for both of those setbacks.
Freedom (Patriot FC) pulled away from Northwestern (New Tripoli Bank FC), the top team in the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League Group B, with three goals in the second half for a 4-2 victory in the quarterfinal round of the LVSSL playoffs on Tuesday night at Lehigh University’s Campus Fields.