It might not have been the prettiest goal Sam Seyfried has ever scored.
But what it lacked in beauty, it more than made up for in importance.
Seyfried scored the game’s only goal as Northwestern defeated Southern Lehigh, 1-0, in a District 11 Class 3A boys soccer semifinal game on Tuesday at Palmerton.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a SportsCenter Top 10 goal or an ugly goal, they all count the same,” said Tiger coach Nate Hunsicker. “Sam scored off a mess in front and that’s all we needed.
The Northwestern football team returns to the District 11 playoffs for the first time since 2015 when it advanced to the finals, but fell to Notre Dame (Green Pond) 32-22.
This time around, the Tigers start with a game against Allentown Central Catholic, a team that going by the records, the Tigers should win easily. The problem is that it’s difficult to compare teams from different conferences and the 3-7 Vikings will prove a tougher team than many may think.
Defending District 11 titlist Northwestern showed it still had the fight of a champion.
But upstart Notre Dame proved the heart of an underdog can be even more powerful.
The Crusaders stunned top-seeded Northwestern, 5-4, in a Class 2A quarterfinal round game on Thursday at Northern Lehigh High School.
“We didn’t look at them like an eighth seed,” said Northwestern coach Kelly Bleam. “We knew they were a good team, and we knew we were in for a battle.
“So it wasn’t a case of us taking them lightly. “
After establishing its running game as a potent weapon through the early going, Northwestern has seen teams focus on stopping the run. That approach would work if the Tigers were a one-dimensional team, but junior quarterback Deven Bollinger has shown that he can get the ball to his receivers. He threw for 251 yards in a 35-7 win over Northern Lehigh last Friday night.
The final week of the high school football regular season is here and different teams have different recollections on just how fast the season has gone. Catasauqua’s football season has been a rough ride in 2018. The team has just one win, which came against 1-8 Wilson, and hasn’t been competitive in most of their games. They beat the Warriors by just three points and all of their losses have been by 21 or more points.
Meanwhile, the Northwestern Tigers are 8-1 and looking to play in districts for the first time since 2015.
From the start of the Colonial League championship game, Northwestern completely dominated play. The problem was that while the Tigers were controlling the ball and getting good looks at the net, they were unable to get the ball into the back of the net.
Within the first nine minutes of the game, they had a free kick from 25-yards out deflected by goalie Ethan Buck and another free kick clank off the crossbar and carry over the net and out of bounds. In the end though, the Tigers prevailed in a 3-1 win to take their fourth straight Colonial League championship.
In any sport, it’s normal to focus on what is happening immediately where the ball is. In soccer, it’s easy to focus on who scores the goal and forget just how that goal was set up by other members of the team. Northwestern’s dominance in the Colonial League is predicated on just those types of things.
In their 3-1 league championship win over Moravian Academy, the Tigers did all of the little things right.
During the regular season, Palisades handed Northwestern one of it two losses on the season in a 2-0 game. For a while, it looked like that same scenario might play out in the Colonial League semifinal game between the two teams, but Northwestern came raging back, only to fall to Palisades 3-2 on penalty kicks Tuesday at Salisbury High School.
Palisades got its second goal of the night with 15:35 left in the first half when Kylie Schmidt challenged goalie Lauren Terrell and put a shot just out of Terrell’s reach to make it a 2-0 game.
It’s not the type of rumble like the Jets and the Sharks had in West Side Story, but it’s a rumble nonetheless.
It’s the Northwestern Tigers and the Northern Lehigh Bulldogs in Bo and Brett’s Mountain Road Rumble. The longtime rivalry has been transformed into a charity event that raises money and awareness for the Bo Tkach Under the Helmet Foundation and the Tackle ALS/Brett Snyder Medical Fund.
Northwestern had two primary goals last Friday night. The Tigers wanted to get off to a quick start on offense. Defensively, they wanted contain Saucon Valley’s explosive running back.
They did both in a 49-28 win that knocked the Panthers from the ranks of the unbeaten and put a damper on their Homecoming.
“One of our points of emphasis this week was to get out to a fast start,” said Northwestern head coach Josh Snyder. “We felt like we could get ahead and maintain a lead we could get them uncomfortable offensively.