CLAYTON — Northmont scored a 2-1 victory at home Monday over Fairmont to win its opening round match of the Southwest District Division I girls sectional soccer tournament.
Northmont advances to face Troy on Thursday at Troy. The two teams battled each other to a 2-2 tie on Monday Oct. 9 during regular season play.
Fairmont dominated the first half by taking nine shots on goal during the first half while limiting the Lady Bolts to just three shots, but neither team could find the back of the net.
Avianna Ewing scored inside the goal box with 35:43 remaining in the second half to give Northmont a one goal advantage. Fairmont answered quickly when Annie Ayers took a corner kick and slammed the ball into the net with 34:20 remaining.
“As soon as we scored our first goal I told Coach Humphrey that it probably wouldn’t be enough to win it,” said Northmont Coach Ted Mergler. “Fairmont was putting a fair amount of pressure on us tonight and they had their opportunities and they have three girls that are very creative up top.”
Northmont ramped up its attack and made repeated runs on the goal. Maddie White just missed putting a kick in that cleared leaping Fairmont goalkeeper Emma Martcheva and deflected high off the right post and back out into the field.
The Lady Bolts eventually scored the go-ahead goal off a corner kick by Emma Sluterbeck that Jillian Naas headed into the goal from the right side.
The Lady Bolts took eight shots on goal in the second half and limited Fairmont to only two shots.
“Our girls really turned it on there at the end,” Mergler added. “I felt like they found their confidence late in the second half and really applied pressure on Fairmont’s back line and goalie. Jillian Naas must have tracked that ball down on that corner kick from 30 yards away and just hit that ball square with her head. She drilled it into the back of the net.”
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind