Smith, Allen lead Webb over Northern, 5-0
Abbey to Ashton. Ashton to Abbey.
J.F. Webb’s Allen-Smith connection was too much for Northern Vance to handle Monday night as the Warriors earned a 5-0 win in the first of two meetings between the teams this week.
Abbey Smith netted a hat trick and set up both of Ashton Allen’s goals.
“I thought their footwork today, more than any game this season, was really strong,” said Webb coach Allie Urbanski. “Usually they work really well at passing the ball around the defenders. But they actually relied a lot on foot skill to capitalize.”
Webb moved to 7-6 overall and 3-3 in the 3-A Carolina Conference while Northern dropped to 4-9-2 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Northern was outshot only 20-16, but Warrior goalkeeper Carla Pike’s best save may have been a second-half snag of an errant backwards header from teammate and defender Cat Pittard on an attempted clearance.
“We waste way too many opportunities,” said Viking coach Razvan Tegean. “These type of games, you’re not going to have 20. You have to do a better job finishing those opportunities. We had two or three of them in the first half, two or three of them in the second half. Unfortunately, we were not able to finish.”
The Warriors went up 2-0 in the opening minutes before Northern settled down and created several chances in the final 10 minutes of the half.
But Webb took a 3-0 lead into halftime after Smith knocked a ball forward for Allen, who raced past the back line for an open shot, nailing the finish.
Urbanski told her team at halftime that it wasn’t playing at its normal level.
“I think we just assumed, ‘Oh we scored two goals, the game’s over,’” said the Warrior coach. “Especially with Northern, you can’t think that way. They rally and get really physical.”
Smith made it 4-0 in the 48th minute when she found the upper netting from a difficult angle, from about 15 yards out on the left, inside the box near the end line.
Smith added the last goal with less than two minutes to play in the match.
“Those are some players that you can’t afford to leave behind you, not to stay close and play hard defense on them,” Tegean said of Smith and Allen, “because they have some great skills and they’re going to finish it as soon as they have the opportunity.”
Tanaua White had 16 saves in goal for Northern. The Vikings are at home with Cardinal Gibbons Wednesday and Webb is at Chapel Hill Wednesday. The Warriors and Vikings meet again Friday in Henderson.
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