VANDALIA — Northmont scored a 2-1 victory Tuesday at Butler to win its opening game of Southwest District Division I boys sectional soccer tournament.
Brandon Morton scored the Thunderbolts first goal off an assist by Noah Teague with 22:58 remaining in the first half. Twelve minutes and 46 seconds later Teague scored with an assist by Liam Batten to give Northmont a solid 2-0 lead.
The Aviators fought back with a goal by Riley Weber with an assist by Zane Burgmeier with 4:30 left in the half.
That was all the scoring that took place. During the second half Northmont made several runs on the Butler goal and finished with 18 shots compared to nine by Butler.
The Aviators moved more players to the front to help thwart the Thunderbolts’ attack. While that tactic worked, the Aviators failed to generate a second goal.
With the victory Northmont improved to 6-5-5 while Butler ends its season at 9-3-4. The Thunderbolts will advance to play with winner of the Wayne vs. Troy game Saturday at 7 p.m. at Troy. Northmont lost to Troy 1-0 in the second game of the season despite dominating time of possession and shots on goal. Northmont beat Wayne 2-0 seven games into the season.
“We will take it and run,” said Northmont Coach Bob Brown, who acknowledged Butler did what it had to do in the second half. “It became much more direct Steve (Doring) did what he had to do. He pushed more numbers forward and started playing with three forwards and kept a fourth underneath. It became less skilled, more like the ball back and forth. That’s what they were hoping for but it just didn’t work out, so it was good for us.”
The Aviators fought hard the entire game, but couldn’t make many runs at the Northmont goal. Butler got the ball into scoring range a few times late, but there shots on goal were handled easily by goalkeeper Ryan Tanto.
“We changed a few things in the second half and we were hoping to get an equalizer early and keep the momentum going , but unfortunately we didn’t create a whole lot of shots on target, said Butler Coach Steve Doring. “We definitely limited them going forward in the second half but it was just unfortunate that we gave up those two early goals in the first half.”