When Hannan and Northlake Christian meet in any sport, the game tends to be competitive.
That was the case Tuesday evening when the girls soccer teams from each school faced off in a Division IV, District 5 match.
But a pair of Northlake Christian penalties committed in the Wolverines’ own box proved to be their downfall. Hannan broke open a 1-1 tie midway through the second half with two goals off the ensuing penalty kicks, and the Hawks pulled away for a 3-1 victory at Hannan.
Hannan (11-1-1, 1-0) entered the game ranked third in the state’s Division IV power rankings. Northlake (7-8-1, 1-1) was 12th.
It was an odd ending to what previously had been a steady match. In the 52nd minute, the tide turned in Hannan’s favor when a penalty kick was awarded after a NCS foul. Hannah Duplechain took the close-range kick and she drilled a shot to the bottom right corner that put the Wolverines ahead 2-1.
Minutes later, NCS was flagged for yet another penalty in its box. This time, Olivia Kelly knocked a shot to the top right corner for a two-goal lead.
“The PKs definitely gave us the boost of confidence we needed to pull through for the district win,” Duplechain said. “Our teams are definitely evenly matched. This game is always neck and neck. We’ve been working a lot on speed of play and penalty kicks. It helped (Tuesday).”
The Hawks scored first during the fifth minute. Ashley Burke received the ball just outside of the NCS box along the right sideline and scooted toward the goal. Her bounding shot to the far post dribbled past the Wolverines’ goalkeeper and into the net.
Both teams had decent looks at goal throughout the following minutes, but several nice defensive stops, especially by the NCS back line, kept the score at 1-0.
That was, until the 30th minute, when several Wolverines penetrated the Hannan box. Sophie Wall found the ball at her feet near the left post and bumped the ball in from close range to tie the score at 1.
Northlake had a good chance to score in the opening minute of the second half when Blair Kent headed a shot after a corner kick. Hannan goalie Mikayla Boyer stopped the ball, though.
The win allowed Hannan to join Pope John Paul II atop the Division IV, District 5 girls’ standings. The Jaguars defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 4-2 on Tuesday.
Northlake Christian 8, Hannan 0: Despite missing two starters because of illness or injury, the Wolverines outshot the Hawks 11-0 in the first half, mounted a 4-0 lead in the same span and cruised in their Division IV, District 5 opener against homestanding Hannan on Tuesday night.
The game was called with about five minutes to play because of the eight-goal mercy rule.
NCS (5-1-4, 1-0) came into the contest ranked seventh in the Division IV power rankings. Hannan fell to 1-6, 0-1.
Senior Josh Landry scored three goals and eighth-grader Dallas West (playing in only his third varsity match) scored two goals in the decisive first half.
“I was excited to get my first goals in varsity,” West said. “It’s only my second start. It’s an awesome feeling.”
Landry drilled a shot to the far post in the fourth minute to kick off the scoring, and West followed in the 14th minute with a goal from the right side of the box. Jake Lewis put the Wolverines up by three in the 26th minute with a score and West found the net again before halftime.
The Wolverines were no less potent in the second half, scoring three more times before the 60th minute. Landry bumped the game-closing shot into goal on a breakaway, and NCS outshot Hannan 22-0.