Northwest junior Stephanie Jett was probably one of the most surprised players on the field when her shot went in from 30 yards out.
“It was intended to be a cross, but I think the way it hit my foot it just curved in and the goalie kind of knocked it in, too,” said Jett, whose goal at 28:24 sparked a 6-1 victory over visiting Emporia (0-5) on Thursday night.
“It definitely boosted our team up to score some more goals and fired us up for it. I think it was a good start.”
Northwest (4-1), which won its fourth straight, had two-goal games from sophomore Renee Gillespie and freshman Paige Achey. The Grizzlies have scored 23 goals in the victories, and Jett said she thought they might be hitting their stride.
“I think after that first game we had (a 2-1 overtime loss to Salina Central), it came to us that we’re a really good team and we can put as many goals in the back of the net as we want to,” she said.
Gillespie followed up Jett’s goal about 12 minutes later, getting a pass in deep from Jett off a free kick and putting the ball past Emporia goalkeeper Yadira Rivera, who faced 22 shots in the game.
Northwest coach Bobby Bribiesca said he’s not surprised at the poise shown by Achey and his freshmen, including Lexi Clark (two assists) and Paris Womack (one assist).
“There’s good freshmen all over the city,” he said. “I think this is the Year of the Freshman. (Coach Alan) Shepherd has some at Kapaun, Maize has a couple of freshmen, even Heights is starting two freshmen. Freshmen are good this year.”
Not to be forgotten, however, are the efforts of the seniors, Bribiesca said.
“We’ve got Christy Tran taking charge in the middle, Sydney Andrews in the back, so my seniors are coming through. I’m happy for them.”
More importantly, Bribiesca said that Northwest is capable of playing even better.
“We’re not near our peak – we’ve got a long ways to go – but I think the girls are adjusting to each other and I think we’re on the same page right now,” he said.
First half – Northwest, Jett; Gillespie (Jett). Second half – Gillespie (Clark); Tran (Clark); Achey (Womack); Achey (Tran); Emporia, Candia. Shots – Emporia 0-2—2; Northwest 10-12—22. Saves – Emporia, Rivera 7-5—12; Northwest, Welborn 0-2—2.