Coming off its first loss of the year and entering a grinding stretch of schedule, the Class B No. 4-rated Northwest boys soccer team put together just the type of performance it hoped for Monday.
Parker Janky recorded a hat trick and the Vikings shut out Scottsbluff 4-0.
Northwest entered the meeting of 3-1 teams coming off a 3-1 loss to York on Thursday.
“I thought coming off that loss to York, we played a lot better,” assistant coach John Kenna said. “We played more together. We changed our formation a little bit.
“We talked more about toughness – mental toughness, physical toughness. You can’t take days off. We started off pretty strong this year, and I think York just demonstrated that they had that toughness. So we had to match that physicality, which today I thought we did.”
Kenna said dropping another player in a central defensive midfield position seemed to help organize things, and that paid off.
Sophomore Payton Atwood gave the Vikings a quick lead by putting away a rebound in the fifth minute.
“Payton Atwood got one early and that really helps with that confidence, then you can build off of that,” Kenna said. “Then it kind of snowballs after that.”
Then Janky took over by scoring in the 34th, 45th and 68th minutes.
“It all comes down to finishing, and Parker did that,” Kenna said.
He said Janky’s second goal to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead early in the second half was a huge score.
“A 2-0 score in soccer is a scary, scary holding spot,” Kenna said. “It takes one little mistake and the whole momentum changes. But I was proud of the guys today.”
The win, which was a game rescheduled from the first weekend of the season, is the start of a stretch of four matches in eight days for the Vikings.
They host Holdrege Tuesday, travel to Kearney Catholic in a makeup game Friday and are at Columbus Scotus next Monday.
“We don’t get a lot of rest,” Kenna said. “We turn around tomorrow and play Holdrege and we’ve got to be prepared for that. Then we have a makeup game Friday at Kearney Catholic.
“All of those are going to be important for conference seedings. It’s an important week for us.”
Scottsbluff 10, Northwest 1
Scottsbluff improved to 4-1 with a 10-1 rout of Northwest on Monday.
The Bearcats scored six goals going into the wind in the first half then added two more in the first six minutes of the second half.