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Lady Gladiators dominate Northview, poised to win region

Johns Creek scores on three penalties, wins 6-0



JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Johns Creek girls soccer scored on three penalty kicks, a quickly taken free kick while Northview was off-guard, buried what would have been an own-goal and put in a loose ball to down Northview, 6-0, Friday.

Meanwhile, the Lady Gladiators’ back line allowed just a single shot on goal.

Senior captain Amanda Moore scored on a penalty and on a free kick just outside the penalty area, running up from the back line and burying a quick shot before Northview organized its defense for the set piece.

Malena Dickson and Toni Williams scored on penalty kicks, Julia Nicholas finished off what would have been an own-goal by a Northview defender heading the ball over its keeper, and Jasmine Usher put another in the net past a gaggle of bodies.

Johns Creek scored five of its goals in the second half, three of those coming in the final 15 minutes. They put 10 shots on goal in the game, with Northview keeper Taylor Stalheim making multiple acrobatic saves to keep Johns Creek from running the score up even higher.

With the lopsided win, Johns Creek needs one victory in its final two games, against Centennial and Pope, to capture the Region 7-AAAAAA championship under Mary Byrne in her first year as head coach.

“Ultimately we have been working [on our offense] all season and the girls are starting to come together and are playing like a team. The goals are from a variety of people. As a coach that’s the best thing I can take from our offense. We are not relying on one person,” Byrne said.

Byrne credits much of the Lady Gladiators’ success to their defense.

“Our defense this season has been solid. I’m very impressed with the defense,” she said.

She said senior center-back Kate Batchler has been “fantastic” this season. She also credits her other captain, Amanda Moore and underclassmen defenders Claire Murray, Jillian Davis and Julia Lee for the Lady Gladiators’ stout defense.

“They don’t always get the glorification, but they are the ones that are keeping the ball out of the net. They are working hard, working together and linking up with our offense which is creating goals,” Byrne said.

“We take every game incredibly seriously. We take this and enjoy the win, but now we are looking to next week. With every win they are in that hunt and they are doing everything they can do to win this region.”

The Lady Gladiators are seeking their first region championship this week. They finished second in the Region 6-AAAAAA in 2015 and 2016.

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