The Northshore girls soccer team knows what it is like to win games in the state playoffs.
After advancing to the Division I quarterfinals in 2017, the 10th-seeded Panthers are hungry for more and got things started on Thursday night with a 4-0 victory over No. 23 East Ascension at home.
With the win, Northshore (12-4-5) advances to the regional round and will take on No. 7 St. Joseph Academy. The Panthers and Redstickers played once this season, battling to a 2-2 tie back on Jan. 2.
East Ascension concludes it season 11-8-2.
In a back-and-forth first half, the Panthers had several chances to score. Northshore broke through in stoppage time in the first half as senior captain Abbey Chase broke through the East Ascension defense and found the back of the net from point-blank range to give her team a 1-0 advantage.
“I think it just took us a while to get going against an unfamiliar opponent,” Chase said. “We hadn’t played a match in a while, so it was a little of that, and we just needed some time to get going. But once we did, particularly in the second half, I thought the offense provided great threats on the goal for a majority of the half and really kept the pressure up. That led to three goals and a good win for us. Now we get to advance.”
After multiple chances to extend the lead to start the second half, the Panthers made it 2-0 in the 51st minute when another captain, this time senior Britney Bertram, nailed an impressive cross shot from just outside the goalkeeper box.
A scrum around the front of the goal after a throw-in in the 70th minute pushed the Northshore lead to 3-0 when Price found the back of the net.
Three minutes later Maddie Musselman gave the Panthers even more breathing room when she scored to make it 4-0 Northshore.
“I’m a senior,” Chase said. “And this is the playoffs. I am going to give it everything that I have. This team is talented enough to do some special things. It’s all about playing your best now, when it matters, the postseason.”
Bertram echoed her teammates.
“The hunger for this team to win is just immeasurable,” she said. “We are not going to get outworked and are going to give everything we possibly can to make it happen. Up next is St. Joseph's. One game at a time. We just need to keep our focus and I like our chances.”