Varsity soccer beats Wyoming 6-0 and secures spot in District final

Varsity soccer beats Wyoming 6-0 and secures spot in District final

Fueled by outstanding offensive performances from their senior forwards, Eric Conerty and Ryan Downey, the Rangers moved their way into the district final on Saturday against East Kentwood.

Eric was the first to find the back of the net for FHC, but it took almost all of the opening 40 minutes for him to do so. Eric was able to use a beautiful pass from senior Nolan Vandegrift to chip in a goal with 2:41 left in the first half.

FHC had a few golden opportunities from Eric, as well as junior Beck Norris to put shots in the net; however, they couldn’t find ways to capitalize in the opening minutes.

“We had our chances in that first half,” head coach Blair Lincoln said. “We just didn’t put them away for whatever reason. Their goalie came up with some big saves, but part of that is because we shot the ball at him and not to corners. It just wasn’t clicking for us in that first half.”

The second half was a completely different story for the Rangers. After a Wyoming save, the Rangers had a corner kick on the near side to be taken by sophomore Sammy Postlewait. Sammy delivered a perfect cross to Eric, who headed in another FHC goal.

“We missed a few opportunities at first,” Eric said. “I could’ve had probably four or five goals, but at the end of the day, we knocked in a few; it was a big win for us tonight.”

Ryan would score the Rangers third goal of the night with 27:05 left in the second half. Just two minutes later, Eric would find the twine for the third time of the night, this time unassisted, giving himself a hat-trick.

After another goal from Ryan, making the score 5-0, sophomore and playoff call-up Richie Alvarez got his foot in the action, making a defender miss and slicing a ball past the Wyoming keeper for a goal.

Coach Lincoln was pleased with his team’s second-half adjustments.

“The difference in the second half was us keeping the ball on the ground,” Lincoln said. “Our speed of play, our first touch, and burying our chances were way better and ended up being big in the second half.”

After the regular season ended in a conference championship, the Rangers are bringing high energy and high confidence in their playoff run.

“[Winning the conference] has helped us with a lot of confidence,” Ryan said. “We had a good boost go through our team and [it] gives us a good morale right now. We have a big rival in East Kentwood that we play in the district final, so we hope to keep that confidence up.”

FHC will face this tough rival on Saturday. After taking the state title in 2016, East Kentwood has returned back to a high level this season, with an overall record of 16-4, and ended the season on an 11 game winning streak. One of their four losses was to the Rangers in game one of the season.

Coach Lincoln knows his team has to make adjustments if they want to beat the very talented Falcon team.

“We can’t play so direct,” Lincoln said. “Especially tonight, [Wyoming] held a pretty high line and that caused us to be offsides a number of times. We’re going to have to work the ball underneath, play our one-two touch and possess the ball in the middle of the field. We’re going to get our chances, we just have to put them away.”