Prep Soccer Notes: Northgate Lady Vikings in familiar spot among area competitionBy DOUG GORMAN
Northgate head coach Bryan Hicks knows his girls soccer team might be pretty good.
The Lady Viking are off to a 5-2 overall record and 4-2 mark in league play with their only two losses against state soccer powers and Area 4-AAAAA foe McIntosh (3-1) and Whitewater (1-0).
Through the halfway point in the 2013 campaign, four of the Class AAAAA Top-10 teams are from Area 4-AAAAA.
McIntosh (5-2-1) is ranked second, Whitewater (7-2) third, Union Grove (8-2-1) fourth and Starr’s Mill (6-3) fifth.
“Somebody very good will be sitting at home when it comes time for the state playoffs, and that is a shame,” Hicks said. “We hope it is not us.”
Hicks’ team got is biggest win of the year earlier this week when it knocked off Starr’s Mill 2-1.
The Lady Vikings step out of league action on Tuesday for a game against Charles Drew High School. That non-region contest will serve as a tune up for next Friday’s home clash against Union Grove.
Hicks knows there is plenty of chemistry with the Lady Vikings team, and he can see the pieces finally coming together. Even in the Friday night loss to the Lady Wildcats, the squad played well enough to win.
Despite getting only one shot on goal in the first half, the Lady Vikings’ defense kept Whitewater from ever really controlling the game.
Sparked by the play of goalkeeper Mattea Lewis, the Lady Vikings were able to keep the game close. Lewis turned away 10 shots in the first half with some acrobatic saves.
Hicks won’t call Friday night’s loss a moral victory, but he can see the improvement between this year and last year.
A year ago, when Northgate and Whitewater played, the Lady Wildcats rolled to a 7-0 victory.
“I think overall as a program we are progressing,” he said.
Hicks team is young in spots, but he has several players he can rely on to push the ball up the field.
Micayla Crenshaw, Katie Mitchell, Lilly Barron and Dallas Weaver all had scoring opportunities against the Lady Wildcats.
“The girls are working hard and we are getting some quality chances, we just have to keep fighting,” Hicks said.
In two weeks, the Lady Vikings step out of league action for games against East Coweta and Newnan in the Coweta Cup. The Lady Vikings battle the Lady Cougars on March 27 and East Coweta on March 29.
They also have league games remaining against Mt. Zion (April 16) and Mundy’s Mill (April 19).
“It’s the toughest region in the state,” Hicks said. “If we get out of our region, we can probably make a decent run.”
Freshman helping lead the way for the Vikings: When Northgate freshman Jamie Skalski puts his foot into the soccer ball, it often comes at the opposing goalkeeper like a shot out of cannon.
Just ask the Whitewater keeper who didn’t have much of a chance of keeping the ball out of the back of the net on Friday night on Skalski’s penalty kick.
Skalski’s goal was the only score of the night when for either team and it lifted the Vikings to a 1-0 lead.
The victory pushed the the team over the .500 mark as Northgate ended the week with a 4-3 overall record and 4-2 mark in league play.
After the freshman blasted the ball into the back of the Wildcats goal, Northgate’s defense did the rest.
“Just to be able to protect the lead was really big,” Hicks said.
Northgate shut down a couple of Whitewater chances late in the game as Omar Cortez made some impressive saves.
This year, Hicks has the luxury of alternating his goalkeepers.
Freshman Cooper Morrison started in net and played the first half, before giving way to Cortez.
After Tuesday’s non-region game against Charles Drew, the Vikings take on Union Grove in an important Area 4-AAAAA match.
The Wolverines will bring a 7-2 and 4-0 record into the contest.
Undefeated and ranked Indians still flying high: The East Coweta Indians don’t have any problems proving they belong among the elite teams in Class AAAAAA.
With a No. 4 ranking in the Class AAAAAA coaches’ poll, the Indians are dominating most opponents.
East Coweta has outscored the teams 46-7 so far this year.
It’s last victory came Friday night when it knocked off Tucker 2-0 thanks to goals by twin brothers Ian and Conner Antley.
It was the Indians biggest test of the year. Tucker entered the contest ranked fifth in the Class AAAA poll.
The victory was also East Coweta goalkeeper Luke Oesterle’s second shutout.
Clicking on all cylinders: The East Coweta girls soccer team is 5-2 overall with its latest win coming in a 10-0 victory over Tucker.
Est Coweta has outscored its last three opponents 19-0.
Newnan boys off to fast start: It looks like the Newnan boys and girls soccer teams already have the postseason on their minds.
The Newnan boys head into next Tuesday’s game at home against Douglas County with a two-game winning streak.
Newnan knocked off Area 3-AAAAAA opponent Langston Hughes 5-0 at the beginning of the week, and then beat Eagles’ Landing 8-1 on Thursday.
Lady Cougars play stingy defense: The Newnan Lady Cougars aren’t giving up many goals this year.
Through seven games, Newnan (5-2) has put together five shutouts and outscored opponents 37-4.
The Lady Cougars last victory was a 10-0 win over Eagles’ Landing.