Northview had not played particularly well in their district semifinal game against Anthony Wayne and they were determined to play better against the St. John’s. In an effort to minimize the energy of the Titans, Northview coach, Ryan Creech, encouraged his players to come out hard in the first ten minutes.
“In the past when we played St. John’s it seemed like they always played with more energy they we did. This time we were determined to make sure that it didn’t happen again. I think that the boys responded well,” said Creech.
In the game’s opening minutes the Wildcats jumped out and started the scoring when junior Kyle Scharfenberg shocked the Titans by sending a low screamer past the Titan goalie, Mick Wasielewski.
The Scharfenberg goal seemed to ignite the emotions of both teams and the action intensified but both teams had trouble finding the back of the net. Quality scoring opportunities were at a premium as the majority of the playing action took place in the mid-field and, when the occasional shot was taken, both goalies turned such shots aside.
Finally, in the closing minutes before halftime, Northview again broke through and used some Titan confusion in front of the net to score a second goal. Junior Wes Ferguson was the beneficiary of the confusion as he lofted a shot that found the lower right corner of the Titan net and, suddenly, after a half an hour of relatively equal play, the Wildcats had a 2-0 lead.
The Titans came out eager to get back into the game and their outstanding freshmen, Adam Montague, took the lead and got his team on the board with a great header shot off a corner kick at the 33 minute mark. With a slight wind advantage and nearly an entire half at their disposal, the Titans were back in the game but Northview’s play down the stretch would prove otherwise.
Over the games’ final thirty minutes the Wildcats would completely dominate the mid-field and the trailing Titans had little opportunity to push across that game- tying goal. The Titans’ best opportunity game in the final minute of play when senior Patrick Pickering had a nearly point blank shot but Northview’s Tyler Puhl came up with the big save to preserve the Wildcat victory and the district title.
Northview’s next round game will be Tuesday evening in Huron at 7 pm.