In the scholastic sports postseason, there is a potentially-stifling phenomena for quality teams.
The problem arises when a higher-seeded team is scheduled for a longer layoff because it receives a bye in the opening round or rounds of the playoffs.
The Northwestern girls soccer team faced this problem as they had a long week of practices before their initial contest in the Disitrict 11 Class AA tournament.
Consider the threat dismissed!
The Lady Tigers had no problem overcoming their layoff as they rolled to a 6-0 quarterfinal round victory over Notre Dame of Green Pond on friday afternoon.
Northwestern head coach Kelly Bleam admitted to being concerned about keeping her squad in competitive mode after a week without games. It's safe to say after the 24 shots on goal against the Crusaders that those fears are extinguished pretty quickly.
"I was concerned, to be honest with you, that there would be some rust," Bleam said. "It feels like it was a long week of practice. I'm pleased to see the girls come out and actually put their practice to use.
"We worked on a couple things in practice this week that I saw evidence of in the game today. The girls are putting forth a tremendous effort."
The Tigers scored three goals in each half as Angela Motolese and Sabrina Mertz both scored twice, while teammates McKenzi Divers and Sarah Segan added individual tallies. Jennifer Hallingstat also contributed an assist on the initial score of the game.
"It was really good to get a solid win to start out districts so that we can get some confidence," said Motolese, who also assisted on Segan's goal in the first half. "It was definitely a challenging game and it's hard to look at the final score and think about the game that way because on the field, it was definitely harder than the scoreboard makes it look like."
In the contest, the Tigers outshot their opponents 24-3, with Tiger goalie Laura Hill stopping two shots on goal. Meanwhile, Notre Dame's M'kenna Murphy was busy in her team' goal as she stopped 11 shots.
The Tigers, this year's Colonial League champions, improved to 18-1-1 on the season and will move on to play against the winner of Saucon Valley and Southern Lehigh in the semis next week.
Coach Bleam reiterated her confidence in the ability and effort of her team, saying, "There are no specific areas of concern, like I said, the girls are taking what we are doing at practice and it just seems like there's improvement with each day and week.
"I have no reason to believe that the girls aren't going to continue to put their best foot forward."