The Valley Indians were able to pull off the upset Wednesday evening by defeating the one seeded Northwest Mohawks 2-1 in their sectional championship match.
Valley coach Andy Johnson credited the win by saying, “We needed to keep Northwest from possessing the ball and making their runs. We were able to capitalize on a couple of key offensive plays.”
Johnson continued saying, “I feel our team is playing the best they have played all year and I knew we had a real chance tonight. Cameron Phillips and Austin Sommers are very skilled with the ball and very quick, and Isaac Slack, I had just put him back in and he scored within twenty seconds of putting him back in. I told the kids we can beat anybody, you just have to keep your head up and keep going.”
Valley’s first scoring threat of the game came from a corner kick at 37:55 in the first half, but Nick Hicks of Northwest was able to get the early save. Shortly after, Dylan Dehart would attempt a goal that Valley’s goalie, Wesley Holbrook, would save. Holbrook would have several good saves throughout a very tough and intense game that helped his team to the victory. A penalty kick after a foul at the 24:35 mark of the first half by Evan Throckmorton would put the Mohawks on the scoreboard first but would ultimately be their final goal of the night. Valley answered back at the 15:56 mark of the first half when Isaac Slack would score on an unassisted goal.
At 27:56 in the second half, Phillips scored on an unassisted goal, bringing the Indians ahead 2-1. Northwest would continue their efforts to even up the score for the rest of the game, but Valley would hold on to their lead to advance to the district semifinals off of a 2-1 victory over the Mohawks.
Northwest head coach Josh Keeney following their loss said, “I thought we played decent, but they had a few opportunities that they finished, and we didn’t. Evan Throckmorton is probably one of the best players around for the last few years, and anytime we get to have him take a PK or a free kick from anywhere, he doesn’t disappoint, and he didn’t tonight. After Trent Deemer got hurt, I think it just slowed us down a little bit. Valley played well, but Trent and Evan are leaders on the field and when you take a leader out, its rough. I’m proud of all of my kids, and my seniors are the best group that has ever come through here. My younger players are already talking about what they have to do to get ready for next year.”
Throckmorton talked about the game, his career, and future Northwest teams’ after the loss, “We didn’t play our best, we haven’t for the last couple of games, and Valley played great. I’m hoping our accomplishments and what we have done here this year will help guide the next class upward to a winning season, keep that record. What made it so hard for me is knowing I’m never going to play with these boys again, I hope I taught them something.”
Valley will play the Wheelersburg Pirates following the conclusion of the other district semifinal matchup at Waverly High School at approximately 1:00 p.m. this Saturday, October 20th.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT