Boys varsity soccer suffers a 3-1 loss to East Kentwood on opening night

Tommy Spaletto

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Three goals in the second half by East Kentwood would be the eventual backbreaker for the boys varsity soccer team, as they fell to the Falcons 3-1 on opening night. Seniors Sammy Postlewait, Ethan Hale, and Kyler Williams along with junior Matthew Mahoney played well and showed lots of bright spots for the team in their first game. Sammy served as FHC’s primary offensive production while Matthew, Ethan, and Kyler did well on the defensive side of the ball. Despite the loss, the Rangers showed a lot of positives on the field in all aspects of the game. 

FHC came out hot right out of the gates, playing lockdown defense and getting offensive opportunities at the net early. Senior Richie Alvarez placed a nice ball to freshman Noah Gleason which was barely saved by the EK goalie just around 10 minutes into the game. Matthew and Ethan led the charge defensively early, limiting cross passes by the Falcons and keeping the ball out of Ranger territory. 

The Rangers kept up the momentum down the stretch in the first half. Sammy fired a free kick that could’ve been a goal if a Ranger was there for a rebound after it hit the goalie. After that, EK started to gain momentum on offense and got opportunities at the net. Ethan, Matt, and Kyler were busy at the tail end of the second half with the Falcons pursuing and getting more shots on goal. FHC stayed strong and went into the half tied with EK 0-0. 

Just under 2 minutes into the second half, EK broke the ice with a tap in goal to take the lead 1-0 off some Ranger miscommunications on defense. After the early goal, the two teams continued to go back and forth in what was a defensive slugfest for a while. But 20 minutes later, the Falcons would place a beautiful ball to score off of a corner kick and extend the lead to 2-0 in favor of EK. 

Just as the Falcons started to pull away with under 15 minutes to go in the game, Sammy would get some redemption and score a free kick to cut the EK lead to 2-1 with 12 minutes remaining. FHC was getting more momentum as time was ticking, and it looked like there was a comeback in the works for the Rangers. But with just 3 minutes remaining in the game, Kyler Williams made an outstanding save, but EK was there at the perfect time to tap the ball in to put the game away and hand FHC a loss on opening day 3-1. 

The loss puts FHC at 0-1 on the season but will have an opportunity to bounce back Saturday afternoon against the Grand Haven Buccaneers at home. Grand Haven defeated FHC 5-0 last year, so this is a revenge game for the veterans on the team. To win this game, the FHC defense will need to communicate at all times. The offense will also need to get more shots on goal, as they only got 5 shots up against EK. If the Rangers can do both of those things on Saturday, look for FHC to pick up a huge bounce-back game.