CLAYTON — Northmont’s girls soccer team earned its first victory of the season with 2-1 win Wednesday at home over Wayne, a team still in search of its first victory of 2016.
Both teams have inexperienced lineups but the Lady Bolts were finally able to generate a solid attack Wednesday to earn their first win.
“We are a young team with not a lot of varsity experience, so as a coaching staff all we ask is that we continue to grow and gain that experience,” said Northmont Coach Ted Mergler. “We got the result that we were looking for but we kept it a much closer game than it had to be. We had a lot of scoring opportunities tonight and obviously we controlled the tempo of this game and played on our offensive half the majority of the game. We just couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net to finish the game earlier on.”
Junior forward Emily Howard netted the Lady Bolts first goal off an assist by Abigail Spirk with 30:43 remaining in the first half to put Northmont up 1-0. Sophomore defender Jillian Naas boosted the lead to 2-0 two minutes and 27 seconds into the second half of play with a shot in heavy traffic only a few yards away from the Wayne goal.
Mikaela Henline helped set up Wayne’s lone goal of the night by feeding a pass to Ashley Ruble inside the goal box where Ruble got fouled to set up a penalty kick. Ruble nailed the shot into the right side of net to cut the Lady Bolts lead to 2-1 with 12:05 remaining in the match.
“That goal was set up by some nice hustle by Mikaela Henline,” said Wayne Coach Brad Hemphill. “It was a good ball to the corner and Ruble beat her to the spot and ended up getting fouled, got the penalty kick and put it away.”
Wayne has been hampered by a series of minor injuries of late. Those injuries coupled with playing two tough opponents in Lebanon and Centerville in back-to-back games resulted in the Lady Warriors suffering consecutive 6-0 losses. Wayne put together a much improved effort against Northmont, which did not go unnoticed by Hemphill.
“The effort is getting there. It hasn’t been there the last couple games, but it seems to be stepping up,” Hemphill added. “There are still some things that we need to work on, but we are definitely going in the right direction. We are a little banged up and we are playing some tough competition right now in this stretch of the schedule. We’ve had a lot of physical games and we have a lot of girls with injuries here and there but we have a week off so hopefully we can take care of those injuries this week.”
With the win Northmont improved to 1-3-0 overall and 1-2-0 in conference play while Wayne fell to 0-4-2 overall and 0-3-0.
Maddie White controls the ball at the sideline as Wayne’s Randa Richards applies defensive pressure.
Alissa Hernandez tries to set up a shot on goal as Emily Flohre (10) races over to defend for Wayne.
Emily Howard looks to make a pass as Wayne’s Kylie Tilton trails the play.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind