BY TRAVIS MILLER
TIPTON — Western Boone entered the IHSAA Class 3A Tipton soccer regional with only its second sectional crown in school history.
That relative inexperience showed Thursday night as they faced a No. 11 ranked Northwestern team that had been there before.
The Tigers entered having won three straight sectionals, but they hadn’t managed to advance past the semifinal round each of the past two seasons.
The third time was the charm for Northwestern as the Ti g e r s ended the Stars’ season with a 5-1 result.
“They were probably the fastest team we played all season in terms of pure foot speed,” Western Boone coach Mike Schlemmer said. “They use that speed very well. They got second chances mostly because of their speed.”
Second chances are where The Tigers really made Western Boone pay.
Robert Olsen notched four goals for Northwestern and had several other chances by knifing through the defense to pick up loose balls within the penalty area.
Northwestern brought the pressure early on, forcing Stars goalkeeper Andrew Knecht into pressure packed saves twice within the first four minutes.
Unfortunately, Olsen got loose just four minutes in when he added his first goal that banked in off of the left goal post.
Only 12 minutes after that it was Olsen that scored again. This time he took advantage of a misplaced clearance by the defense to rocket a shot past Knecht to put the Tigers up 2-0.
“We talked about putting pressure on them early and Robert came through again,” Northwestern coach Jim Wagner said. “The four goals was a heck of an effort. We have greatly improved on second chances this year. Instead of sitting there and watching one guy go to work we’re getting in there and helping out. “ Western Boone was not without its own chances in the first half, but they were unable to convert. In the 25th minute the Stars missed a shot wide to the right. In the 32nd minute the Stars were able to get possession in the box, but Northwestern’s keeper was able to break up the play. The same happened in the 35th minute.
Those missed chances came back to haunt Western Boone a minute before halftime when Jacob Wagner scored to make it 3-0 Northwestern and was assisted by Olsen.
“It certainly took us a few minutes to adjust to them tonight,” Schlemmer said. “We had a couple of chances there in the first half that if we had put them away it would have changed the complexion for us.”
Western Bone was able to finally score in the second half, but not until after Olsen made it 4-0 with a goal with 34:31 left.
Just like how Northwestern took advantage of second chances, Dylan Steines was able to pick up a loose ball in the box and slot home Wester n Boone’s lone goal with 31:52 left.
That was the lone highlight for the Stars, as Olsen scored again three minutes after Steines’ goal to end the scoring.