Northwest remains unbeaten, wins 5-0 at Waverly


Offense has been the storyline for the Northwest Mohawks soccer team all season long.

After all, with a 5-0 win over Waverly on Tuesday evening, the Mohawks have now beaten their opponents by a combined score of 38-6.

But in the win over the Tigers, Northwest was able to get a big lift from their defense. The Mohawks defense notched their first shutout since beating Clay 6-0 in the season opener.

Northwest needed that defensive boost, too. The Mohawks headed into halftime with a 2-0 lead, and didn’t score their third goal of the game until about midway through the second half.

According to Northwest head coach Josh Keeney’s stat sheet, Waverly was unable to put up many shots in the match. “On my stat sheet, Waverly had two shots the entire game, so that tells you right there we’re playing some really good defense,” Keeney said.

With all the attention the offense gets, the defense has been under the radar for the Mohawks this season. Northwest is allowing an average of only 1.2 goals per game on the season.

Even better for the Mohawks is the fact that their coach thinks the defense is continuing to improve as the season goes on. “Our kids have really stepped up the last few games defensively,” Keeney said. “I think from the beginning of the year to now, they’re really playing well.”

Northwest senior Hunter Berry agrees that the defense is playing well. “I think we played better than what we have been the past few games,” Berry said. “Me and Cody [Mosley], since we were back there last year, had a bigger plan this year to have as many shots as we can this year.”

While defense was the story of the game for Northwest, the offense continued their success early on in the game.

Harald Rundquist put Northwest out in front with 32:47 in the first half. The Mohawks scored their second goal of the period when Austin Speer found Evan Throckmorton for a long score at the 25:13 mark.

From that point, though, it was Waverly’s defense who kept the Tigers in the game trailing by only two. Waverly was able to keep Northwest off the board for the next 40:27 of match time, until Cody Mosley found Rundquist for his second goal of the game with 24:46 left in the match.

Tyler Webb added another goal with 15:11 left to play to give Northwest a 4-0 lead, and the Mohawks added another when Rundquist found Speer to give Northwest a 5-0 lead at 7:03 in the second.

Waverly got the defensive play to keep them close for a good part of the match, but the offense was unable to make the most of the opportunities. “We didn’t play our game,” Waverly head coach Bryan Smith said. “Basically that’s what it comes down to. We knew what they were coming in, we knew they were a high scoring offense.”

The Tigers might not have played their game on Tuesday night, but will get another chance at the Mohawks on Sept. 28 at Northwest.

“We’ll get better as the season goes on,” Smith said. “Luckily enough we get to play them again so we’ve seen what they are and we’ve seen what they’re capable of.”

Smith hopes his defense can play a complete defensive game the next time the two schools meet. “The first two goals we gave up, it was just defensive discipline,” Smith said. “Had we not gave up those two goals, second half would have been a little different.”

With the win, Northwest is now 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in SOC conference play. The confidence among the coaching staff and the players is continuing to build as the Mohawks get right into the thick of the SOC schedule.

Berry was excited after the win over Waverly. “It just makes us a step closer to winning the SOC,” Berry said. “I feel like we’re getting better and better every game we play.”

Northwest will host Wheelersburg on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

For the Tigers, they will also play at home against Washington Court House on the same day. The following week, Waverly remains at home to play Wheelersburg (Sept. 12) and Minford (Sept. 14).

Scoring Summary

First half

32:47 Harald Rundquist goal (1-0 NW)

25:13 Evan Throckmorton goal assisted by Austin Speer (2-0 NW)

Second half

24:46 Harald Rundquist goal assisted by Cody Mosley (3-0 NW)

15:11 Tyler Webb goal (4-0 NW)

7:03 Austin Speer goal assisted by Harald Rundquist (5-0 NW)

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Hunter Berry gets set to kick the ball at Waverly.
http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2017/09/web1_rsz_hunterberry.jpgHunter Berry gets set to kick the ball at Waverly. Ben Spicer | Daily Times

Trent Deemer contributed to a solid defensive performance for the Mohawks on Tuesday evening. Northwest won, 5-0.
http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2017/09/web1_rsz_trentdeemer.jpgTrent Deemer contributed to a solid defensive performance for the Mohawks on Tuesday evening. Northwest won, 5-0. Ben Spicer | Daily Times

By Benjamin Spicer

bspicer@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Benjamin Spicer at (502)264-7318 or on Twitter @BSpicerPDT

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