NORTH EAST — With playoffs coming up in a little less than three weeks, North East girls soccer coach Matt Roberts will gladly take more efforts like Thursday afternoon’s game against visiting Patterson Mill.

He’d just like a different result in the process.

“Outstanding effort. Can’t ask for more from the girls,” Roberts said after Patterson Mill took a 3-1 decision, dropping the Indians to 3-5 on the season. “If we play like we did today, more often than not we’re going to come out on top.”

All of the scoring took place after a tense first half in which the Huskies outshot the Indians four to two. Striker Izzy Toni accounted for all three Patterson Mill goals, the first coming on a penalty kick in the fifth minute of the second half. She would add another on a drive to the net just three minutes later before Allyson Miklas got North East on the board with a looping 35-yard shot that floated past Kaitlyn Welker and settled in the far right-hand corner for a goal.

After Miklas’ goal, the Indians picked up the intensity and got several good opportunities and shots at the goal, but couldn’t break through. Welker and McKenzie Milstead (who played in the first half), allowed just the one goal and recorded seven saves between them.

“Patterson Mill came out with more intensity than we did,” Roberts said. “They had the better part of that first half. I think we answered well – we had some chances and gave everything we had. We just have to do it for 80 minutes.”

Toni put the game away in the final two minutes with her third goal and the Indians were left looking to their next game. Coach Roberts is hopeful for improvement coming down the stretch.

“We’re just focused on getting better every day,” he said. “We want to play with intensity and challenge the ball. If we do that, everything else falls into place.”

Goalkeeper Delaney McDilda recorded five saves for North East.

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