RIVERSIDE — Northmont’s girls soccer team fell behind almost immediately in their season opener Monday evening at Carroll High School.
Twenty four seconds into the game Carroll sophomore forward Abby McNamara scored the first goal with a shot from the left flat that sailed over the reach of Northmont goalkeeper Molly McCarroll and into the right corner of the net to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead.
Carroll continued to dominate play throughout the first half by pressuring the Lady Bolts’ defense with crisp passing that kept the ball in Northmont’s half of the field. McCarroll came up with a big save on a penalty kick two minutes later or Northmont would have been in even bigger trouble. Miah Raiff appeared to score Carroll’s second goal of the night at the 31:03 mark, but the goal was wiped out on an offside call.
“Let’s face it; Carroll is a tough first opponent. Usually you like to play a weaker opponent in the first game to work the kinks out of your game,” said Northmont Coach Ted Mergler. “It took us a long time to settle down into our game, probably 25 minutes into the first half before we kind of sat back a little bit and started to relax and string some passes together. By that time the damage had already been done, so at that point we were fighting to get back into the game.”
Carroll goalkeeper Kassie Bistrek rejected a shot by Northmont’s Rozalyn Malot with 21:18 remaining in the first half. McCarroll rejected another shot by McNamara with 18:50 remaining and Lexis Petty took a shot on goal for Northmont that Bistrek stopped with 7:38 left in the half.
In the second half the game became a battle of defense with neither team gaining much an upper hand. McCarroll rejected a shot by Carroll’s Angelina Batty with 32:31 remaining and Bistrek rejected a Northmont shot at 28:40. McCarroll made another save for the Lady Bolts with 7:44 left.
Finally, with 6:51 remaining the Lady Bolts tied the score 1-1 on a shot by Kyleigh Denson on an assist by Neriah Ross. Denson moved to the left and Ross fed her the ball. Densen nailed a kick into the left half of the net as the Lady Bolts managed to come away with a 1-1 tie.
“I felt like we were the better team in the second half,” Mergler said. “It’s a promising start to a long season. Our girls showed a lot of character. To fall behind in the first 24 seconds and to give up a penalty kick a minute later, I thought they showed a lot of character. I wished we could have finished more of our opportunities though. We had plenty, but it was a good start.”
Northmont took seven shots on goal and Carroll took six.
The Lady Bolts will travel to West Carrollton High School on Wednesday, August 20 and the following Wednesday play at Troy.