Boys varsity soccer goes 0-1-1 in a quick stretch of conference games

Tommy Spaletto

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Coming off of a dominant 8-1 victory against the Greenville Yellow Jackets, the boys varsity soccer team traveled up to Cedar Springs to square off against the Red Hawks. They could not pull out the win, as FHC fell to Cedar by a score of 6-1. The team would proceed to tie the Northview Wildcats 0-0 in a makeup game that Friday. Junior Mason Corcoran did a great job on defense in both games, getting his first major minutes of the season and performing well by locking down forwards on both teams. The Rangers look to improve on both sides of the ball before their next game

It was truly a nightmare start for FHC against Cedar Springs, as the Red Hawks scored just in the first 40 seconds to go up 1-0. Cedar Springs would not turn back from there, as they would score once again just three minutes later. The Red Hawks would score another goal before Micah put the only Ranger goal in to cut the lead to 3-1. Right as the Rangers were gaining momentum, Cedar Springs would put in two more goals to end a forgettable first half for the Rangers with the Red Hawks leading 5-1. Overall, the Rangers looked totally discombobulated defensively. After suffering an injury earlier in the week, starting center back and captain junior Matthew Mahoney once again was forced to sit, this time against a more competitive team in Cedar Springs. While the loss of his presence certainly hurt, the Rangers still thought they’d be able to handle the Red Hawk pressure without him.

The second half was much better for FHC. It was a night and day difference in the way the defense had played, as the Rangers did a much job of matching up to the Cedar forwards. Mason along with freshman Noah Gleason and senior Mitchell Haberman did a great job of stepping up and winning balls against the Cedar offense and filling in for the many injuries on the defense. Cedar Springs would score one more goal, and the Rangers would fall heavily to the Red Hawks 6-1. 

FHC took the road again on Friday to take on the Northview Wildcats in their third conference matchup. They started out going back and forth with Northview, as both defenses were lockdown and neither offense could get going. A result from the loss against Cedar last Wednesday was a new defensive formation. FHC implemented a 4-2-3-1 formation in order to try and be more sound defensively. A big reason FHC was able to succeed in this game was winning balls in the middle and giving the offense opportunities. Seniors JT Guntern and Dani Ahmetovic did a great job of finding the offense early on to get more offensive opportunities as the game progressed. Mason And Noah also did a great job of preventing any Northview cross passes that happened and eliminating any Wildcat offense from breaking out. 

This success directly translated into dominance in the next twenty minutes on offense. There were countless offensive opportunities at the net, and the team started to really find its groove. Micah and Sammy were able to get some great chances at the net, but unfortunately, none of them could find the back. The FHC defense had done a great job of taking the Wildcat offense out of the game in the first half, and the two teams went into halftime tied at 0.

Northview came out more aggressive offensively in the second half. Although the Ranger offense slowed down a bit, the defense was still able to get more possessions than Northview. Senior Ethan Hale and the returning junior Matthew Mahoney did a great job distributing the ball not just in the second half, but throughout the game to give the Rangers some offense. The Wildcats started to pick up a little momentum towards the end of the game, but it would not be enough to score on the Ranger defense, as the game ended in a tie 0-0.

FHC now sits at 1-3-2 on the season, and hope to pick up some more wins on the remaining road trip. The Rangers face off against the Ottawa Hills Bengals this Thursday in another conference showdown. FHC will need to play consistently well on both sides of the ball in order to win this game.