Northwood ends season for North Lenoir soccer
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on May 19, 2004 1:56 PM
LAGRANGE -- North Lenoir center midfielder Katie Maloney cut and dribbled down the middle of the field -- piercing the Pittsboro Northwood defense early in the match -- as she has done to so many opponents this season.
After several deep drives, Maloney put the Hawks up 1-0 in their third-round Classes 1-A/2-A N.C. High School Athletic Association match at Wheat Swamp against the Chargers, but it didn't take long for first-year Northwood coach Julie Mason to make a crucial adjustment.
The Chargers' Bonnie Kirkman shaded Maloney for most of the game as Northwood (19-2-1) stepped up its physical defensive pressure and got a stout offensive performance from Katherine Johnson in a 4-2 win.
"We had to pick her up. I had to find the right person to put on her to match-up and I thought she (Kirkman) did a good job of containing her," Mason said. "She's (Maloney) got good ball skills, and we had to contain and make her make the first mistake.
"The first few times, we would stab and she would go past us."
Johnson finished with a hat-trick (three goals) as the Chargers now move on to face Western Guilford in the fourth round.
North Lenoir finished its most successful soccer season in school history at 17-2-1 after claiming its first playoff win last Friday at home over Randleman. The future of Hawks' soccer looks promising as it loses just three seniors and returns leading scorers Maloney and Haley Bright.
"I think we've gained respect from teams in the east and I think teams in the east have gained respect across the state," first-year North Lenoir coach Dan Amodeo said. "With soccer starting in the Middle Schools, this program should continue to grow.
"Next year we are going to go to the playoffs again. I think we will win the conference championship again, and I think we will push farther in the playoffs.
Maloney and Bright, both sophomores, combined for 70 goals this season.
Maloney, who added North Lenoir's final goal with nearly 13 minutes left in the second half, got North Lenoir out of the gate solid at the 35 minute mark of the first half. The sophomore cut back near the top of the 18-yard box and on the right win, took several dribbles, then fired past the Northwood goalie to open the scoring.
It didn't take long for Johnson -- the Chargers' leading scorer -- to answer.
Johnson connected on a follow shot off of a corner kick at the 31 minute mark, before scoring again on a follow off of a misplayed Northwood free kick by the North Lenoir defense. The two quick strikes made the score 2-1 with 23 minutes left in the first.
Northwood went on to outshoot the Hawks 8-5 in the first half and had five corner kicks in the first 20 minutes of play.
"We were not passing the ball so much in the first half ... instead just hitting it," Amodeo said. "Northwood was running to the ball faster than any team we have played all year. We didn't have as much time and we weren't used to that.
"We wanted to work it wide and cross to the middle and we didn't do a lot of that."
The quick-striking Chargers got out to a hot start in the second half as well as Amelia Davis knocked in a penalty kick after a North Lenoir handball inside the box to make the score 3-2 with just three minutes gone by in the second.
Five minutes later, Johnson completed her hat-trick with a left-footed shot through the Hawk goalies' gloves.
Despite trailing 4-1, the Hawks never stopped hustling against their physical opponents in the second half, but never established their passing game that has proven dangerous through most of the season.
Maloney's final tally near the 13-minute mark came on a right-footed rocket on a free kick at the top and just outside of the 18-yard box into the upper right corner.
The Hawks had a near miss on a long through-pass from the right win from Maloney to Elizabeth Foye in the middle. Just as the pass was crossing the middle, Northwood goalie Katherine Ryan scooped the pass before Foye ran on to attempt a shot.
Foye, Jessica Farmer and Stephanie Melton played in their final games for North Lenoir.
2004 N.C. High School
Classes 1-A/2-A Girls
(at North Lenoir HS)
Pittsboro Northwood 2 2 -- 4
North Lenoir 1 1 -- 2
NL -- Maloney (unassisted), 35:19
PN -- Johnson (unassisted), 31:56
PN -- Johnson (unassited), 27:48
PN -- Davis (penalty kick), 37:16
PN -- Johnson (unassited), 32:30
NL -- Maloney (direct kick), 13:11
N. Lenoir Northwood
9 Shots 16
1 Corner kicks 6
0 Offsides 2
6 Fouls 6
Saves -- N. Lenoir -- Barraza 6. Northwood -- Ryan 4.
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