Source: Ben Spicer - Daily TimesPiketon’s Kalesie Henderson scored a goal to break the scoreless tie in the 62nd minute.
Just last year, the Piketon Redstreaks girls soccer team played their first season in program history.
One year later, the Redstreaks recorded their first tournament win as a team with a 2-0 victory over Northwest in the district tournament.
“This is a major step forward for our team,” Piketon head coach Jared Williams said after the match. “You start ticking off those milestones: you get the first home victory, first road victory, you get your first postseason victory. Just another milestone to tick off, very proud of what the girls have done.”
The match was scoreless through nearly 62 minutes of play before Piketon’s Kalesie Henderson scored on a pass from Ally Crothers.
Several minutes later, Crothers added the last goal of the match to give the Redstreaks the final score in a 2-0 win. Crothers scored on a corner kick for Piketon, and Northwest was unable to recover from the two scores.
It was the Mohawks, though, that appeared in control early. The Redstreaks needed a diving stop from Camryn Alexander just nine minutes into the match to keep Northwest off the scoreboard.
Much of the first half was spent with both teams missing chances. Crothers had a shot swerve to the left of the goal with 23 minutes remaining in the first half.
Piketon had several other opportunities to score before the break, but the Mohawks got several big saves from freshman Haley Montavon.
It was only Montavon’s second start in the goal, providing Northwest with a lot to look forward to for the next three seasons.
“[She] did an outstanding job,” Northwest head coach Tim Amburgey said. “She’s a freshman, and I’m excited about that. I think we’ve found us a young lady who will be a good keeper for the future.”
The Mohawks got several big saves on the day from Montavon, including several in the second half before Henderson ended the drought.
Most notably, Montavon made a great save on a direct kick with 23 minutes left in the match. Northwest was able to play nice defense throughout, before allowing the two scores late.
Entering the game, Amburgey hoped that the Mohawks would be able to contain Crothers.
“In the first half, and the first part of the second half, we were able to pretty much keep her out of her game,” Amburgey said.
Northwest couldn’t hold off Crothers forever, though, as she scored the second and final goal of the match for Piketon.
While Montavon played solid in the net for the Mohawks, it was Redstreaks keeper Camryn Alexander who pitched the shutout.
“Camryn Alexander is the backbone of our team,” Williams said. “Everything that we’ve been able to do so far is built upon her, she has over 300 saves on the season. Every night, we know she’s going to pick us up back there if our defense gets burnt or anything.”
Alexander was able to keep the game scoreless while Piketon got things figured out on the offensive end. Williams said his team faced several challenges, but was able to face the adversity and get the win.
“We’ve got a lot of girls that are sick, some girls that are banged up,” Williams said. “We told them this is one time that we can give a great second half and get a memory for a lifetime.”
The speech worked to perfection as the Redstreaks racked up two goals in the final 20 minutes of play to get the win. Piketon is set to travel to Lynchburg-Clay on Wednesday in hopes of winning their second tournament game.
Williams knows that the road match will present a challenge for his Redstreaks, but he’s ready to embrace the challenge.
“They’re the cream of the crop in our bracket,” Williams said. “They are a fantastic team, it will be an honor to go up against them. Our girls will be ready to give it everything we have, but we know we’re going to have our hands full.”
As for Northwest, it’s time to reminisce on the memories of this season and look forward to what next season has in store. The Mohawks graduate four seniors: Haleigh Ross, Brianna Maynard, Alisha Maddy and Sarah Ellis.
For those still dressing in Northwest red and blue next year, the excitement is already building for 2018.
“These young ladies are actually pretty excited about the next couple seasons because they understand that they’re young,” Amburgey said. “The majority of the team is young, and we’ve also got some young ladies who will be coming through our U15 system that we’re going to throw in the mix.”
Reach Benjamin Spicer at (502)264-7318 or on Twitter @BSpicerPDT