CLAYTON — Northmont’s girls soccer team had little difficulty scoring a 3-1 victory Tuesday over Xenia in the opening round of the sectional tournament.
Senior midfielder Emma Sluterbeck netted Northmont’s first goal on a free kick from 40 yards out. Sluterbeck launched a high arc from the far sideline that sailed over the Xenia keeper’s reach and into the net two minutes and eight seconds into the match to give the Lady Bolts a 1-0 lead.
Another senior midfielder, Jillian Naas, added Northmont’s second goal with 9:12 left in the first half to give the Lady Bolts a 2-0 lead at the break. This was Naas’s first game of the season due to a technical error in the number of classes she was enrolled in.
“Jillian got a goal in her first game back,” said Northmont Coach Ted Mergler. “She just provides a lot of strength out of the air for us and we are going to be a lot more dangerous on set pieces with her on the field.”
The Lady Bolts might have been too excited for their own good and too hyped up to score as many goals as they could have.
“We were trying to put the ball in the back of the net,” Mergler noted. “Sometimes in a game like this where you are kind of dominating offensively it is hard to be patient on a shot, so you rush it and it is not necessarily the best choice. In the end we got the job done.”
Senior defender Breckyn O’Shea tallied Northmont’s final goal with 24:14 left.
Xenia’s lone goal came on a penalty kick by Taylor Huffman with 3:33 remaining.
“I am very proud of the girls,” Mergler added. “I told them before the game, come tournament time you wipe the slate clean and it is a fresh start. We are off to a good start with our first victory of the tournament and hopefully we can keep it going.”
With the victory the Lady Bolts improved to 7-5-5 while Xenia ends its season at 7-6-4.
Northmont advances to host Fairmont on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind