Allen, Smith again lead Warriors over Vikings
Northern Vance played perhaps its best game of the season Friday, but the combination of Ashton Allen and Abbey Smith was again too much for the Vikings to overcome.
Allen and Smith accounted for every goal in the teams’ first meeting this week, a 5-0 win for Webb in Oxford.
That was the story again Friday, but the match played out much differently. Northern was competitive on its Senior Night, trailing 3-2 at halftime before Allen doubled the lead and Smith planted the final dagger in the 68th minute.
“We did a great job tonight,” said Viking coach Razvan Tegean. “The girls came out hard. They just played hard and well. It was probably the best game we’ve played this season.”
Northern fell to 2-6 in the 3-A Carolina Conference and Webb improved to 4-4.
Tanaua White finished with 15 saves in net for the Vikings, including a one-handed stop of a Smith penalty in the second half.
“She did a great job and she had some awesome saves,” said Tegean. “She looks better and better from game to game.”
Northern’s best chance to pull level came following White’s save. Kristin Long lined up for a free kick, the ball resting to the left of the 18-yard line near the touchline. Ashlyn Reams couldn’t catch up with Long’s kick at the far post, but Northern earned a corner kick.
The Warriors cleared it, sparking a 57th-minute counter attack that concluded with Allen’s third goal. Beyond midfield, Allen dribbled from the right side of the pitch over to the left, moving forward before unleashing a low shot by White at the near post.
“She usually looks for Abbey,” said Webb coach Allie Urbanski. “I think she just saw there was an opening. She doesn’t do that very often where she takes it herself and set herself up for the goal.”
Urbanski said the Warriors weren’t settling the ball in the first half. Spreading the field was the topic of conversion after the first 40 minutes of play.
“We talked about settling down, playing our game, which is really a possession game,” said Urbanski. “We are a passing team and it showed in the second half.”
Smith opened the first-half scoring less than five minutes into the match, but Northern tied it up a few minutes later when Gabby Matthews earned a free kick at the top of the penalty area. Long nailed the straight-on kick, finding the netting to the left of Webb goalkeeper Carla Pike, who finished with nine saves.
Allen scored the next two for Webb before the Vikings got it down to 3-2 when Hannah Burgess and Matthews connected for a score. Burgess played a high chip over top of the Warrior backline that fell for Matthews, who dribbled in and beat Pike to her left.
“She played most of the season at centerback and I brought her up to midfield,” Tegean said of Burgess. “I think with her skills she might be more helpful there. She has good control of the ball. She can definitely play some good balls for our strikers.”
Northern honored Matthews, Long, White, Ashlyn Reams, Katlyn Reams, Logan Brinker, and Kaitlyn Moody for Senior Night.
“It’s hard to let them go,” said Tegean. “Being just my second year with the girls, it still feels like I’ve been with them forever. Great group of kids.”
Northern visits Chapel Hill Monday while Webb hosts Orange in a game that will decide third place in the league standings.
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