By Ron Nunnari
CLAYTON — Northmont’s girls soccer team played a physical game Monday night and put relentless pressure on Sidney the entire 80 minutes to hand the Lady Yellow Jackets their first loss of the season, 1-0.
With the victory Northmont improved to 3-2-1 while Sidney fell to 5-1-1.
Breckyn O’Shea angled a kick into the net from the right side from about 15 yards out off an assist by Sydney Duncan 5:44 into the match to give the Lady Bolts an early lead they would never surrender.
Sidney mounted some runs at the Northmont goal but for the most part the Lady Bolts back line cleared the ball away to thwart those threats. Rozalyn Malott, Jillian Naas, Chloe Newburg, Addison Yingling, and Breckyn O’Shea helped keep the heat off goalkeeper Taylor Pritchett the majority of the game.
“We felt like we let one get away from us the other night against Wayne, so tonight was kind of redemption,” said Northmont Coach Ted Mergler. “We had a good plan and the girls executed it as best they could and we got the result we wanted tonight and I am very proud of all of their efforts.”
Sidney’s lineup featured two of the top five scorers in the Greater Western Ohio Conference. Elaine Wisenymayer had 14 goals and 10 assists in five games and Khia McMIllen had seven goals and five assists, but neither hurt Northmont.
“We came up with a new game plan to man-mark them and shut them out of the game, and really I don’t think they put very many shots on goal tonight,” Mergler said. “Actually, I think their two leading scorers didn’t get any of Sidney’s shots on goal.”
Jillian Naas and Chloe Newburg were assigned to keep Wisenmayer and McMillen away from the goal while Northmont’s outside marking backs floated to lend support when needed while Rozalyn Mallot swept away all other potential scoring threats.
Sidney Coach Kevin Veroneau felt the officials let the contest become far too physical.
“Right from the get-go the refs let it get away,” Veroneau said. “I had a conversation with them before the game ever started and I said, ‘Let’s make them play the game and not a physical contest.’ A lot of times, the quickest way, if you’ve got a team that is a little bit more technical is to put them under high pressure, get more physical and throw them off their game. Northmont did a great job of coming out right away and playing very physical and aggressive, and that is how you equalize games against better teams.”
Veroneau noted he used the very same tactic against Centerville last Thursday when Sidney battled the Lady Elks to a 0-0 deadlock.
“We came out and put them under high pressure so that they couldn’t get into their passing game, so it’s a great game plan,” he noted. “I did say to the ref tonight, ‘Please call it tight and make them play soccer.’ Unfortunately, it started getting tit for tat and sometimes players get emotional, make decisions and follow too hard.”
He was referring to a play when defender Hallie Truesdale and a Northmont player collided with Truesdale being penalized with a red card. That means Truesdale will now have to sit out the next two games.
“Once she was thrown out the last 20 minutes of the game we were playing a man down, so basically he hamstrung us,” Veroneau added.
“It was just two players coming in and hitting each other. It wasn’t like she came in and undercut her or anything egregious enough to call a red card. I refereed 10 years and I hate it when the refs don’t call it tight and make them play the game. But kudos to them, it was a great game plan. They scouted us and they knew what to do.”
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email at Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind