St. Francis de Sales sophomore Colin Clarke, right, fights for possession with Northview senior Sam Haack during at Timberstone Junior High School in Sylvania. Northview is now 9-1-2.
THE BLADE/JEFFREY SMITH
Northview coach Jon Haynes witnessed a Wildcats team perform on Thursday night the way he'd prefer to see it play every night.
They attacked. They kept at it.
The Wildcats executed their game plan practically from start to finish en route to a 3-0 thumping of St. Francis de Sales in a nonleague encounter at Timberstone Junior High.
"I was pretty happy with today," Haynes said. "They were pretty sharp. They took their chances when they needed to, and they defended when they needed too.
"They stayed organized, and I think they played pretty well.
Northview (9-1-2) took hold of the game early in the first half by being more the aggressor and dictating the action on the field.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view photos from the game
Their playing style — putting pressure on the opposing team's goalie — resulted in Sam Haack give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage with 24 minutes remaining in the first half. Haack was the recipient of a pass from Andrew Kline near the St. Francis goal that he promptly booted past the Knights goalie.
"The goalie was out and it was left foot and right in," Haack said, of his goal. "We came out and we wanted to come out looking stronger than we did Tuesday [2-0 win over Southview].
"We're always looking to improve. We came out as a team well, and I thought we did great tonight."
The Wildcats had a few more near-misses on shot attempts at the goal before the first half ended with them owning the one-goal advantage.
St. Francis (7-1-2) kept it close and was within striking range of tying the match before Northview's Matt Bules increased their lead to 2-0 when he scored a goal with a free kick with 15:10 left in the match.
The Wildcats' lead became 3-0 not long afterward when Northview goalie John Wendt tallied his first goal of the season. Haynes called on Wendt to take a penalty kick.
Wendt's kick went right and past the outstretched hands of the Knights goalkeeper.
"I picked John [for the penalty kick] because we had some trouble with penalties before," Haynes said. "He's a big-time player, and I figured it was time for him to step up. I asked him and he said, 'I''ll take one,' so it was a chance for him to show us that he had the mental fortitude to do it. He did it and that was good."
The Northview goalie, who registered four saves, said keeping a calm and loose demeanor was key to him coming through with his first goal of the season.
"He wanted someone that could relax," Wendt said. "I just went out there laughing because if I miss it, I'm a goalkeeper. If I make it, sweet for me."
St. Francis goalie Logan Kuhlman recorded 10 saves on a night in which the Wildcats kept him busy.
It was another successful night for Northview.
"I think Northview wanted it more than we did," St. Francis assistant coach John Clarke said. "They showed a little more urgency. We struggled against their long ball.
"The penalty aside, the two goals were errors on our part."