The Northwest Boys soccer program had a historic season of sorts. Whether it was recording back-to-back 13-win seasons to picking up a rare victory over the Wheelersburg Pirates, the Mohawks started with a successful season and ended with a sectional championship.
According to Mohawks head coach Josh Keeney, Northwest (13-5) has rebounded from a decade of losing seasons to securing its fourth winning campaign in a row. The end result of another winning campaign was a 2-1 victory over St. Joe in a sectional championship game. It was the first sectional championship for Northwest since Keeney was a senior in 2001.
The Mohawks scored twice, both coming in the first half. Damien Williams scored on a ball that was headed out of bounds by a defender. He redirected the long shot in the corner of the goal. Later in the first half, Tyler Webb, with the assist from Evan Throckmorton, scored on a breakaway.
“We came out really strong and played a great first half of soccer,” Keeney said. “We played possession soccer and was controlling the game. The second half was much more evenly matched as St Joe scored and took the momentum, but my guys stepped up and kept them out for the remainder of the game. Both teams played their hardest and it was a great game to be a part of.”
After advancing to the district semifinal, the No. 2 Mohawks faced top-seeded Lynchburg-Clay. Northwest began the game aggressively as Webb scored the first goal of the contest. However, after three consecutive goals by Lynchburg-Clay, the Mohawks were able to tally one final goal as Austin Slusher found the back of the net but it wasn’t enough as Northwest fell 3-2 to the No. 1 seed.
“We got off to a great start and had momentum most of first half,” Kenny said. “(Lynchburg-Clay) sent a cross in that the wind got a hold of and ended up in the goal. Both teams fought hard and they got two quick goals in second half, but our kids fought back and made it a game.
“I thought we played really well and had chances, difference in the game was finishing the chances each team got. They did a better job of that and came out on top. I’m proud of my kids for fighting every last minute and really surprising a lot of people this year. I had a great group of guys that were extremely close to one another … “
Despite losing in the district semifinal, Northwest still had a historic season with the highlight coming in Wheelersburg. The Mohawks shutout the Pirates 2-0 on the road to secure their first victory over Wheelersburg in the last 23 years.
The two goals came as Webb split the Pirates and scored on a breakaway, followed by a 35-yard shot from Throckmorton who found the back of the net from long distance.
With all of the success the Mohawks enjoyed the season, Keeney couldn’t be more pleased with how his team responded after losing seven playmakers last season.
“After losing eight seniors last season, seven who started, everyone thought we would be really down again. But this year’s team took that as motivation and worked extremely hard in the off season to prove people wrong, eventually winning just as many games and making it to district play.”
This year, Northwest will lose Zach Smith, Noah Marcum, Damien Williams and Austin Mundhenk to graduation.
“I lose four seniors that have been a huge part of the success we have had over the last few years,” Keeney said. “They have really helped bring this program back to being successful. I’m am very proud of these guys and know they will move on to bigger and better things. I really hate to lose my few seniors, but they will move on to do great things. Each of them are great individuals and I look for them to be very successful beyond soccer.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.