Northview's reign in the Northern Lakes League in girls soccer jumped to another impressive level last night.
The Wildcats secured an unprecedented seventh straight NLL championship with a 3-1 victory over Anthony Wayne at Timberstone Junior High.
Sophomore Brooke Taylor and freshman Paige Maroney sparked a stellar second-half performance by the Wildcats, who overpowered a Generals team that lost three players to injuries during the second half.
Taylor scored two goals and Maroney recorded two assists to help the Wildcats celebrate their latest league title.
"That's unheard of," Northview coach Rick Burgin said for the seventh consecutive league championship.
"That's a heck of a feat, especially playing in the toughest soccer league in northwest Ohio.
"For us to win seven times is really an honor."
Northview, which has one league match remaining, stands 6-0 against NLL opponents and improved to 13-1 overall.
AW, which outplayed Northview during the first half only to end up in a scoreless tie, fell to 2-1-3 in league and 8-2-3 overall.
"I thought we really controlled the tempo of the game in the first half," AW coach Lori Williams said.
"I think we both had some opportunities [to score] in the first half but we needed to capitalize on them."
The Wildcats dictated how the game played out during the final 40 minutes. They returned from the intermission and moved about the field at a much quicker pace. Taylor put the Wildcats ahead 1-0 when she took a pass from Maroney and fired a shot past AW goalie Kara Music 46 minutes into the half.
It was as if they woke up from a power nap.
"It was as perfect a pass as you can make," Taylor said of Maroney's first assist.
It was just over 11 minutes later when freshman Taylor Delaney scored the game-deciding goal off of another assist from Maroney.
"We definitely stepped it up in the second half," Maroney said. "Once we got a goal it got us pumped up."
AW's Tessa Harlow tightened the score 61 minutes into the match when she scored on a penalty kick to make it 2-1.
But the Generals failed to get any closer before Taylor guaranteed the Wildcats would hold on when she scored on a header to give Northview a 3-1 cushion with just over 10 minutes left to play.
Northview senior Lauren Keefe, who received the start in goal in place of Sarah Stephens (broken nose), kept the Generals out of the net the rest of the way.
"I think we did not play our game in the first half," Burgin said. "
I think Anthony Wayne took us out of our game. We were a little erratic.
"But we've been a second-half team all year and in the second half the ladies locked in on what we needed to do."
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