SULLIVAN — It was about all North Knox’s girls soccer team could ask for in its second half against Washington Catholic in the Class A Sullivan Sectional opener Tuesday. The first half? Not so much.
Claire Fox scored two goals, and the Cardinals tallied twice in the last three minutes before intermission as Washington Catholic did all of its damage before halftime in a 4-0 victory.
Despite a winless season that yielded just one goal, North Knox (0-15) made the last half of the season one of its better ones.
Emma Stanczak and Hailey Walls made long runs down the left side of the field for shots on goal, and Emma Elkins got loose at point-blank range before being turned away. The Warriors weary defense, headed by keeper Riley Petro, Makay Burress, Hayle Goff, Molly Archer and Isabel Cope, shooed the Cardinals away from more tallies.
It was an encouraging result, given WC (5-8-1) defeated North Knox in the regular season, 10-0.
“It would have been a whole different game if we had played the whole game like we did the second half. We were aggressive and played with a lot of heart,” Lady Warriors coach Kelsey Houchin said. “Our lack of aggression and effort killed us in the first half. We let up a goal, and they all put their heads down.”
Fox opened the scoring in ninth minute and Eline Rutledal tallied in the 23rd minute. But the killers came late when Fox hit the net on a 25-yard free kick in the 37th minute, and Stephanie Montoya converted on a loose ball in front of the net in the 39th minute. Ally Cline had two assists and Rutledal one.
It was the final match for North Knox seniors Hannah Ivers and Molly Dolkey, both first-year players.
“We’re just so inexperienced. We have to start up again next week with basic training,” Houchin said. “We have a lot of work to do, but we can conquer it. We have five eighth-graders coming in next year that know the game.”
The offense is where the Warriors need a major overhaul.
“We have the skill up top, but its young and timid. We have no confidence in our scoring, and we don’t look to pass either. We have to help each other out,” Houchin said.
South Knox played Sullivan in Tuesday’s nightcap. The Cardinals play that winner at 5 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals, followed by No. 11 Rivet and Bloomfield at 7 p.m.