Dominant early offense leads boys varsity soccer past Cedar Springs 3-0 in revenge game

Tommy Spaletto

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A fantastic free kick goal off of the post from senior Sammy Postlewait gave the boys varsity soccer team the momentum they needed to propel them over the Cedar Springs Red Hawks 3-0 Tuesday night. Sammy scored both goals as the senior continues to be the team’s main offensive threat.

For head coach Paul Kramer, seeing his leading scorer perform at a high level was nothing unusual in this win. 

“[Sammy] has been the crux of the team,” Kramer said. “What we do offensively hinges off of him most of the time. When he has an edge and a flow to him, so does our team. So it’s an important part of our game plan as teammates and as coaches to make sure he stays up.”

When these two teams played earlier this season, the Red Hawks dominated FHC from the beginning, going on to win 6-1. Cedar Springs started things off the same way Tuesday with nonstop energy and aggressiveness on the offensive side of the ball. The Red Hawks were able to get a few breakaways due to a lack of communication on the defensive side of the ball from the Rangers. The backline of senior Ethan Hale and juniors Matthew Mahoney and Mason Corcoran, along with senior goalie Kyler Williams, were there to make some key stops. 

Once the defense started to find its groove, it opened up many opportunities for the offense. Sammy, along with seniors Richie Alvarez and Micah Gschwind, was able to get opportunities to switch the momentum into the hands of FHC. Sammy was able to capitalize on one of those opportunities just nine minutes into the game, as he sunk a deep free kick off of the inside of the post to put FHC up 1-0. This goal helped set the tone for the rest of the game. 

“I just knew that the last time we played them, it didn’t end up the way we wanted it [to],” Sammy said. “So I just thought that a big result was needed, and the team gave me the chances to score.”

FHC would get its second goal of the game off of a miscommunication on defense from the Red Hawks. Freshman Noah Gleason took a long throw-in that was flicked on by Matthew, resulting in a wide-open shot for Sammy to tap in. The team would not turn back there, as Sammy launched another free kick into the box for Micah to tap in off of a Red Hawk defender just near the left post to extend the Ranger lead to 3-0. FHC went into the half dominating the Red Hawks 3-0. 

The defense’s efforts in the second half were night and day from the efforts the last time these two teams met. Kyler made some outstanding saves throughout the game to keep this game a shutout win for FHC. For Kyler, it was all about being disciplined and communicating to pick up a signature win at home. 

“Coming into the game, I knew I couldn’t let anything past me,” Kyler said. “I [knew I] had to be on top of communication and directing players.”

The Rangers were able to close out the Red Hawks defensively by not letting many balls go through to the offense thanks to senior Dani Ahmetovic and the midfield. In the middle of the second half especially, the team did a great job of containing the quick Cedar Springs wings and limiting their touches offensively. For the midfield, slowing down the speedy Red Hawk wings was something that was preached upon in practice. 

“Yesterday, we spent a good amount of time in practice on practicing a new defensive scheme where we mark right away,“ Dani said. “Specifically in the midfield, this helped limit their ability to turn and [we] won a lot of balls, which we used to create opportunities on offense.“

Coach Kramer saw the win as a turning point in the season. 

“[That win] is huge for us,“ Kramer said. “We knew that we were far from our best in that first game. I think we’re now coming into form, and I think you’re starting to see the true Forest Hills Central varsity soccer team.“ 

The win puts the team at 5-5-3 overall and 5-3-1 in the OK White conference. Now claiming second in the OK White so far, FHC shifts its attention to a non-conference game on the road against Portage Northern. To win here, the Rangers will need to continue this streak of confidence and togetherness the team likes to call “the revenge tour.” 

“The biggest thing about this win is the revenge tour continues,“ Dani said. “We have won our last three games and have great momentum, our team is working well together, and the atmosphere among the guys is solely centered around winning and making each other the best players we can be.“