TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute North peppered Northview goalkeeper Mannah Mace with 46 shots, scoring on four in the first half, and the Patriots held on for a 4-0 victory in the Class 2A Terre Haute South Sectional championship game for girls high school soccer Saturday night.
“I thought we came out and won every ball, got in behind their defense quickly, used a lot of two-touch passing and connected really well,” North coach Kyle Baker assessed afterward. “Early in the game, we finished really well.”
Junior forward Spencer Grim banged in three consecutive goals after junior midfielder Michaela Schuld tallied the first with her left foot from close range in the opening minute.
“We were able to have our midfield send the ball through and we were just able to capitalize through the space given,” Grim explained.
“Spencer’s been a warrior for us all year,” Baker added. “She’s a dynamic player. She’s a problem for any team she plays against. That’s for sure.”
Grim’s second goal — occurring with 12:32 left in the half — bounced hard off Mace’s forearm before trickling into the net. Her final goal — with 10:31 remaining before halftime — came at the end of a breakaway after teammate Kelsey Thomas fed her the ball near midfield.
“It’s always nice to get three goals, but I can only thank my team for that,” Grim told the Tribune-Star. “I can’t score without them giving me the ball, so I’m just blessed to have them as my family.”
Grim’s hat trick boosted her school-record single-season total to 25 goals.
Brooke Frederick and Cristen Bray shared time at goalkeeper for North, although Northview was not credited with an official shot on goal all night.
To Mace’s credit, she made 19 saves from the Knights’ net, including several of an impressive nature.
“Their goalie played great,” Baker emphasized. “Their back line played tough. And, obviously, we didn’t finish as well as we would like to have finished. But it happens. … We didn’t let up on them. I thought Northview played well.”
“She settled down nicely after the first few,” Northview coach Aaron Crawn said of Mace. “She played an excellent game the rest of the way. … You can’t stop ’em all.”
Crawn mentioned other reasons why he thought North did not continue piling up goals in the second half.
“We made a couple changes in the second half,” he pointed out. “We put some other players on defense, some faster players, to help counteract [North’s offense]. We made a couple other adjustments up front and I think we just got a lot of the nerves out. I think the girls were more relaxed [in the second half].”
As the Patriots’ postgame celebration continued on the field, Baker and Grim took turns expressing their feelings about winning back-to-back sectional titles.
“It’s exciting, especially for our seniors,” Baker noted. “It’s the first time we’ve gone back to back with sectional titles and it’s the first time a senior class has won three sectional titles [out of four seasons] in school history.”
“It’s very nice,” Grim admitted with a smile. “We’re just looking forward to continuing our season in the regional. We just hope we can continue on our journey.”
Speaking of the regional, that’s where North will meet nationally ranked Castle (19-0) at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Jasper. The Patriots lost to Castle 4-0 during the regular season.
Meanwhile, Crawn said Northview will lose three seniors to graduation before next season, but there is still hope for the Knights’ future.
“My entire defensive line will be back, which is great,” he mentioned.
Terre Haute North 4 0 — 4
Northview 0 0 — 0
THN — Michaela Schuld (Abby Howes), 39:02 1H
THN — Spencer Grim (Libby Ward), 36:04 1H
THN — Grim, 12:32 1H
THN — Grim (Kelsey Thomas), 10:31 1H
Next — North (14-4-1) will face Castle (19-0) at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Jasper Regional. Northview finished 9-7.