The margin of victory doesn’t really matter. That’s a good thing for the Northwestern Lehigh field hockey team, because they’ve been winning by the slimmest of margins. But it’s getting them to where they want to be.
It only takes one seems to be the rally cry of the Lady Tigers as they head toward the Class A district final after a 1-0 win over Saucon Valley Monday night.
“It’s playoffs,”said head coach Lissa Opolsky of the close string of games. “You can’t expect anything else in playoffs, because your record, your numbers, nothing else matters in playoffs.
That Southern Lehigh was pegged as the favorite at last week’s Colonial League Cross Country Championships didn’t bother Chris Stitzel.
The Northwestern head coach expected it. After all, the Spartans’ had gone undefeated in both boys and girls competition during the regular season.
But Stitzel knew the Tigers could compete.
The Northwestern football team opened the season with a 42-35 loss to Notre Dame. Since then, the Tigers have won eight straight games, including knocking off previously undefeated Southern Lehigh in week seven.
From that point on, Northwestern has been tied for the best record in the Colonial League with the Spartans and a win in the final week of the season guarantees at least a share of the league title.
If both Northwestern and Southern Lehigh win or lose in week 10, they would share the Colonial League championship.
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.
The annual Mountain Road Rumble between Northwestern Lehigh and Northern Lehigh started out being all Bulldogs as they opened the game with 17 unanswered points in the first half. Northwestern regrouped at halftime and handled the Bulldogs in the second half to escape with a 28-24 win.
Northern Lehigh (5-4) had success running the ball early and used multiple backs to pick up yardage. Five different players had multiple carries in the first 24 minutes of the game as the Bulldogs put up 200 yards of total offense, compared to just 63 yards for Northwestern at the half.
Football teams that rely mostly on their running game have had a tough time this season against Northwestern.
The Tigers’ defense just doesn’t give up much on the ground and for the second week in a row an opponent found out that ground-and-pound doesn’t work against the Northwestern defense.
Saucon Valley (5-3) threw just seven passes all night, with the first two being picked off by Northwestern defenders. In the end, Northwestern walked off with a 36-0 win to move to 7-1 on the season.
The Northwestern and Salisbury girls soccer teams have already played twice this season and it won’t be surprising if they meet for a third time when the district playoffs get underway.
When they met early in the season, the teams battled with the Tigers getting a 2-1 win over the Falcons. After that game, both coaches talked about the playoff atmosphere of the game and predicted they would meet again in the postseason.
The two teams met Tuesday night in the Colonial League semifinals and played 80 minutes with the same 2-1 outcome in favor of Northwestern Lehigh (17-2-0).
The Northwestern field hockey team competed in the Colonial League playoffs Saturday and Monday.
The Tigers earned the No. 4 seed and beat No. 5 Saucon Valley in Saturday’s quarterfinal round. They moved on to face top-seeded Southern Lehigh in Monday’s semifinals and fell 1-0 in overtime.
The last time Northwestern and Southern Lehigh met during the regular season, the Spartans prevailed in overtime.
After a double-bogey and two bogeys in his first five holes at Monday’s District 11 golf championships, Northwestern’s Luke Hallman realized he chances of advancing to regionals probably slipped away over that stretch.
The Tiger senior kept plugging along and trying to play his best golf. He completed the round of 88 (16-over par) to finish in a tie for 24th at the event, held at The Steel Club in Hellertown.
The Northwestern boys soccer team used a matchup against Freedom on Saturday as a gauge on where it is heading toward the postseason.
The result was at 4-2 win for Northwestern in a nonconference game that wrapped up the home portion of the regular season for the Tigers. They finished the regular season Monday playing a scoreless tie with Notre Dame (East Stroudsburg). Northwestern finished the regular season 12-3-3 overall and 9-2-1 in the Colonial League.