High School Soccer
Lady Vikings surge past Newnan to win Cup title
by Doug Gorman
All Northgate girls soccer team needed Friday was a wake-up call.
After a sluggish start to their final Coweta Cup game at Drake Stadium against Newnan, things started clicking on all cylinders for the Lady Vikings late in the first half en route to a 4-1 victory.
With the win over the Lady Cougars (7-7), Northgate (12-1) clinched the Coweta Cup.
It the first time since 2010 the defending Class AAAAA state champs laid claim to the county’s bragging rights.
“This is big,” Northgate head coach Bryan Hicks said. “This is the first Cup for our seniors.”
Playing without offensive leader Lily Barron, who picked up two yellow cards in the team’s 2-1 overtime victory against East Coweta on Wednesday, teammates stepped up Friday night to help the Lady Vikings rally past Newnan.
Taylor and Brittany DeLoach generated the offense for the Lady Vikings in the first half, while Taylor Hendrix scored to second-half goals for Northgate about six minutes apart.
Northgate, ranked third in Class AAAAA, will get a week off before returning for an equally important game on April 14 at home against No. 2-ranked Starr’s Mill in a key region 4-AAAAA contest.
Newnan returns to play on Tuesday, April 15 at Carrollton.
This week’s break is both needed and well deserved for the Lady Vikings’ according to Hicks.
“We are so beat up,” Hicks said. “Name it, and we have had it happen to us. We can use the time away. I just want them to be kids.”
The Lady Vikings are also hoping to get Katie Mitchell back from an extended injury soon after play resumes.
Despite a depleted lineup, Northgate continues to win with defense, giving up just eight goals over its first 13 games.
Senior goalkeeper Mattea Lewis stopped several shots from Newnan, but the Lady Cougars also had trouble at times penetrating the Lady Vikings backline.
Early on, however, it looked like Newnan was determine to keep the game close.
The Lady Cougars scored the first goal of the game on Maggie Darracott’s shot nearly 13 minutes into the contest.
Darracott gave the Lady Cougars the advantage when she took control of the ball in the box and converted on the first shot of the game for Newnan.
The Deloach sisters heated up Northgate’s offense with two scores to give the them the 2-1 lead at the half.
Northgate tied the game when Ashley Keller fed the ball to a wide open Taylor DeLoach right in front of the Newnan goal.
After both teams misfired on shots midway through the first half the Lady Vikings took the lead for good after successfully converting the the only corner kick opportunity in the first half for either team. Katie Salha’s cross from the right side found Brittany Deloach for a header and a one-goal lead at the break.
Salha was also a defensive catalyst for the Lady Vikings throughout the game .
Her defensive stops early in the second half helped clear the ball away from in front of net and prevented Newnan from getting clear shots on goal.
The Lady Cougars had plenty of chances to added the equalizer when Hannah Thomas worked her way open in the second half, but she was unable to finish off the play.
Tehgan Anguilm also had an opportunity on two corner kicks in the second half, but the Lady Vikings turned the chances away.
Anguilm’s second corner kick was headed toward the Lady Vikings’ net, but Lewis made a leaping stop before Newnan had a chance to a rebound.
Northgate added two insurance goals from Hendrix in the second half.
“Somebody was really smiling on us,” said Hicks. “We weren’t really sure what type of conditions we were going to play in. We thought it might be raining, but everything worked out. This is a big win. Now we are ready for a little time off.”