NORTHVILLE - The Northville Falcons dominated the Hartford Tanagers Thursday, advancing to the Section 2 Class D semifinals by a score of 3-0.
The Falcons outshot the Tanagers 27-2 in a game that was never in doubt for Northville.
"I think the biggest thing is when we were playing well we were playing together as a team," said Northville head coach Steve Clapper. "At times when we started to do things individually, that's when we started to have small breakdowns."
Northville defender Brandon Blowers (21) clears the ball away from a Hartford player during Thursday’s Section II Class D quarterfinal match at Northville High School. (The Leader-Herald/Shaun Anich)
The breakdowns were few and far between for the Falcons, who seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. After putting four shots on goal in the first 10 minutes, Northville's Wolfgang Reinke headed a pass from Dan Reidell past Tanager goalkeeper Kyle McCarthy for the first score of the game.
The Tanagers put just one offline shot on goal in the half and made only a handful of runs at their offensive end. Their defense performed admirably in the half, limiting Northville's damage and keeping the game close entering the second half.
The half began badly for Hartford and only got worse. The first of three yellow cards was awarded to Hartford three minutes into the half. Northville possessed the ball for most of the half, carving up the Tanager defense and putting ball after ball on goal with little success until Brian Ginter found Will Wilson alone in front of the goal. Wilson used his head to push the ball past McCarthy and extend the Falcons' lead.
With Northville in position to score nearly every trip down the field, Reidell put seven shots on goal in the half including four in a two minute span as the half wound down. McCarthy faced 17 shots from Northville in the second half, saving four of them. With less than four minutes remaining, McCarthy was sent off after picking up Hartford's third yellow card of the half. David Onzo put in the ensuing penalty kick to sew up the 3-0 tournament win.
"When we created our opportunities it was when we were able to work together and use the space and utilize those opportunities on the field," said Clapper. "Those opportunities presented themselves very nicely for us."
Tim Monette didn't register a save for Northville, as both Hartford shots sailed over the crossbar. Northville will take on Germantown in Queensbury on Tuesday for a shot to play for the Class D title.
"I think the biggest thing I say this time of year is every team is good, every team wants to keep moving forward," said Clapper. "From this point out we know every game is going to be a battle. Our job is to prepare the best we can and go out and give it all we have."