LUCASVILLE — Brick by brick, Northwest is laying its foundation.
The Mohawks’ girls soccer team, which started seven years ago, crossed another item off its to-do list Wednesday evening and, with it, inched closer to becoming the program it wants to be.
Facing Piketon at Valley to start its schedule, Northwest handed the Redstreaks a 4-0 loss and did so in convincing fashion. The season-opening win was the first of such in program history.
“This is year seven of our program and to get off on the right foot like this, for us, is extremely important,” Northwest coach Tim Amburgey said. “We’ve talked to the girls about different bricks in the wall we’re trying to build. We just keep laying those bricks one at a time. This was a big deal for us to start out with a win.”
No two players had a bigger hand in the matter than senior Eva Reyes and junior Ellie Curtis. Reyes scored the team’s first goal before Curtis added each of the next three, posting the first hat trick of her career.
“[Reyes and Curtis] are best friends on and off the field,” Amburgey said. “Ellie had gone through some health issues last year and this year, she’s back to form. She’s just able to beat people one-on-one. She has that speed to get past defenders. Then Eva is just a smart player. She sees the field well.”
Reyes’ score came with 37:56 left in the first half, giving Northwest (1-0) an early advantage. After the senior’s score, the rest of her teammates settled in, shook off nerves and went about business as usual.
Especially those named Ellie Curtis.
Curtis’ first goal came on a breakaway with 23:54 left in the first half. Then, a little over two minutes later at the 21:40 mark, she decided to find the back of the net again, making it 3-0.
“I had the mindset that I wasn’t going to be nervous coming into this game,” Curtis said. “I wanted to have more confidence than I had last season. But I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
After halftime, Curtis quickly graced the scoreboard for the night’s final goal of the evening, using her speed to make it 4-0 on yet another breakaway.
Reyes and Curtis’ constant attack mindset allowed the rest of Amburgey’s crew to focus on winning one-on-one matchups, controlling possession and working without the ball at their feet.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into movement off the ball and playing to possession,” Amburgey said. “It’s good to see the girls put some action into that early in the season. Credit also should be given to my two center defenders, Kaley Hamilton and Alexis Lute. They’re about as strong as you can be right up the middle.”
Amburgey also said there are plenty of takeaways from Wednesday’s win his team can use to get better. That’ll be the focus heading into a two-game slate next week.
Northwest is back in action Tuesday night, traveling to Minford before making a trip to West Union on Thursday.
“We’re still wanting to get our fullbacks pushed up a little higher and involved in the offense a little more,” Amburgey said. “So that’ll be something we work on in our upcoming practices. And we’ll keep working that possession game … that’s something we’ve lacked over the past few years.”