Opportunities create better odds to win.
And Northwestern created ample opportunities during the District 11 Class 2A girls soccer quarterfinals on Tuesday night.
Northwestern fired 32 shots en route to a 5-0 victory over Northern Lehigh.
“Our game plan was to get a lot of shots and get them early, before the opposing team was able to shut down our shooting opportunities,” said Northwestern head coach Kelly Bleam. “That was pretty much everything coming into it.”
The 2016 season was unlike many in recent memory for the Northwestern girls’ cross country team.
The Tigers 134-dual meet winning streak, which spanned six seasons, was snapped. A five-year run as Colonial League champions ended, too.
What a different a year makes. The Tigers returned to championship form and began a new winning streak this season.
Northwestern head coach Josh Snyder knew that Northern Lehigh would present a challenge for his football team in the penultimate week of the regular season.
For the first half, the winless Bulldogs fought tooth and nail with the favored Northwestern squad.
In the second half, however, the Tiger defense took charge. It held Northern Lehigh scoreless after halftime with the Bulldogs gaining just two first downs and 60 yards of offense over the final 24 minutes en route to a 35-14 Northwestern win.
With a win over Northern Lehigh last week, Northwestern moved into position to finish the regular season at 5-5 if they can beat Catasauqua in the final game of the Colonial League season.
While hopes at the beginning of the season were centered higher than five wins, the fact that the Tigers are at that point is impressive considering an 0-3 start.
Four Northwestern players were honored as Colonial League First Team all-stars before Thursday’s championship game against Notre Dame (Green Pond).
Two of those all-stars helped the Tigers break through in a big way against the Crusaders.
Senior Noah Meyers set up fellow senior Kenny Gawelko for the game’s first and only goal midway through the second half to lift No. 1 seed Northwestern (20-0) over No. 2 Notre Dame, 1-0, at Northern Lehigh High School.
The penultimate week of the high school football regular season saw Emmaus and Salisbury both clinch district playoff berths, with the former coming in a victory over Easton and the latter via a loss to Palmerton.
Here’s a look at some of Friday night’s action.
The Hornets jumped out to an early lead and held off the Rovers in the fourth quarter for a 30-20 win.
While both Northwestern and Northern Lehigh haven’t had the types of seasons they would have hoped for, this week both football teams will put that all behind them and put school pride and bragging rights on the line.
The Tigers and Bulldogs are one of the better rivalries in local high school football and both teams look to this game as a high point in their season.
Shoot early and shoot often. That’s the slogan that Northwestern girls soccer coach Kelly Bleam would like her players to adopt, but instead, they’ve taken a more passive approach to the game which has made it difficult to score. Against Southern Lehigh in the Colonial League semifinals, the lack of scoring led to a 1-0 loss for the Tigers.
Northwestern has been atop the Colonial League boys’ soccer landscape for the past two years, winning the league titles in 2015 and 2016.
On Thursday, the Tigers will look to complete the coveted three-peat when they face Notre Dame (Green Pond) in the Colonial League championship game. Top-seeded Northwestern (19-0) disposed of No. 4 Saucon Valley (10-5-3) in Tuesday’s semifinal game, 4-0, at Northern Lehigh High School.
Senior kicker Hunter Miller set a school record with a 47-yard field goal and the Northwestern offense mounted a late drive toward the end zone, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers fell to Southern Lehigh 28-21 Friday night.
The Tigers were able to grind out yardage on the ground for much of the game, while Southern Lehigh took advantage of a couple quick strikes for scores.