Last year Northwestern and Salisbury met twice in the boys soccer postseason. They were two of the best teams in the Colonial League and were the last two standing when the District 11 Class AA championship game came around.
This year the two are again among the best teams in the Colonial League. They met last week for their first and only regular season game. They played to a 1-1 draw that allowed both to escape without suffering the first loss on their 2016 schedule.
As Northwestern approaches the final third of the season, the Lady Tigers find themselves in a familiar position under head coach Kelly Bleam. Much like in past years, they are sniffing yet another Colonial League playoff appearance with a 6-1-1 record in league games.
Since falling to Southern Lehigh on September 16, Northwestern hasn’t lost a match. The Lady Tigers won two of their next three games, including a 9-1 romp over Pen Argyl on Monday. One of their more tested games came last week against Salisbury, which is now the lone unbeaten team remaining in the Colonial League.
The best thing for a good team to do after a loss is get right back to competition.
After the Northwestern girls soccer team suffered its first loss of the season Friday, the Lady Tigers were fortunate to have a Saturday morning game to shake off the loss.
Northwestern did just that in beating Liberty 4-0 Saturday in New Tripoli.
When an avalanche starts to fall, it begins to pick up speed as it rushes down a mountain. Before you know it, the tumbling snow is too much to overcome.
The Northwestern field hockey team put on its own rendition of an avalanche over the weekend against Salisbury.
After not scoring in the opening 30 minutes, one early second-half goal resulted in a snowball effect for the Lady Tigers’ scoring the rest of the morning. Northwestern (2-3-1) scored three in the span of 10:17 to shut out Salisbury 3-0 on Saturday morning.
Northwestern coach Josh Snyder never allows his players to look past an opponent. Even last week after a 37-7 win over Wilson (0-4), Snyder dubbed their game against Pen Argyl (2-2) as their biggest game of the season, simply because it was the next game on the schedule.
“I was afraid of [Wilson] coming into this game,” said Snyder after last week’s win over the Warriors. “Their record might not have shown it, but they can be tough and if you don’t play well against them, they can surprise you. Pen Argyl has that same ability to beat you if you don’t come in prepared.”
There was plenty of blame to go around when Northwestern lost to Palisades a couple weeks ago. Sophomore Anthony Colucci had a particularly tough game, getting flagged for two personal foul calls that hurt the Tigers in the game and got Colucci in coach Josh Snyder’s doghouse heading into the game with Wilson.
With Colucci watching from the sidelines for the first quarter, he was well aware that he had to contribute when he got his chance and he came up big for Northwestern in a 37-7 win over Wilson last Friday night.
Tuesday, Sept. 13
Bangor scored three goals in the second half to come away with a 4-1 victory over Northwestern.
Shaelin De Wit scored the lone goal for the Tigers.
With the loss, Northwestern falls to 1-2-1 overall and in league play.
Saturday, Sept. 13
Palmerton and Northwestern’s Colonial League contest ended in a 0-0 draw.
Thursday, Sept. 8
Northwestern gained a 2-1 Colonial League victory over Catasauqua.
While Northwestern graduated the most recognizable piece of last year’s state semifinalist team, the Tigers have a lot of last year’s cast back this year and are expecting just as much from this season, maybe even more.
The Tigers are off to a 6-0 start to the season and while they are no longer relying on one primary scorer to do most of the damage, they are getting offense from several different players and it’s been working just as well as last year’s plan.
The DeSales Invitational, held each year in early September, is used by the area’s top cross country teams as a gauge. It gives teams an early look at the competition that they will see in league and district championship races, and some that they might not run into until the state meet.
Northwestern’s girls team had its eye on one other team specifically.
The Lady Tigers knew Southern Lehigh had the potential to end their streak of a 135 consecutive league wins, so they wanted to go head-to-head with the Spartans in a nonleague setting just to get a gauge.
For Northwestern coach Josh Snyder, these days are somewhat like a Dickens novel. They are the best of times and they are the worst of times.
Snyder and his wife Lacey recently welcomed their third child, a little girl to go along with two boys. Snyder admits to running more on adrenaline than on sleep these days, but says it’s all worth it and knows these are great times.
Then, there’s his football team.