PK’s send boys varsity soccer home in a 3-2 thriller against Holt in the first round of districts

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After an unfortunate placing in the OK White Conference Tournament, the boys varsity soccer team took on a tough Holt squad in their first round of districts. This game was held at East Kentwood on a chilly fall night that ended in a thrilling sudden death shootout. The final score was 3-2 in the game and 4-3 in favor of the Rams in PK’s. 

The game began with a plethora of energy from both sides. In Michigan, soccer playoffs are single elimination which gave major significance for the Rams and Rangers. The start of the game showed the want to win from everyone on the pitch, but the Rangers were the overall dominant team. They came out with a ferocious defense and a firing offense. Besides a Holt goal about halfway through the first, the boys outperformed and outshined their opposition. When it came to offense, sophomores Noah Gleason and Andrew Novay were a presence for MSU goalie commit Zac Kelly from Holt. Although he was a division 1 goalie, the boys didn’t falter as they sent shot after shot towards the net. By the end of the first half, though, it was 1-0 in favor of the Rams.

“This game was the absolute best performance from the boys this season,” head coach Paul Kramer said. “I say that even though we allowed a goal on a 1v1 halfway through the first half and a cheap corner kick in the first overtime, I was beyond pleased with our overall performance.”

When it came to the second half, the Rangers simply out hustled and out played the Rams. They went back and forth, creating chance after chance on offense. The defense held strong with senior captain Mason Corcoran leading the charge along with sophomore Wyat Butler. These two created a presence that was tough to impale. They also sent the ball upfield for a Ranger counter attack every time the chance presented itself. This was particularly important for the Rangers, as it led to a goal from Andrew who scored with 6:40 left in regulation to tie it 1-1 and bring it into overtime.

Being either team’s first overtime of the season, the boys were fatigued but played on. The Rams sent a corner kick into the FHC netting to make it 2-1 early in the first OT. Senior captain Matthew Mahoney then clutched the game with a header into the side netting off of a corner kick with 5 minutes remaining.

After a long yet eventful overtime, the boys entered PK’s which was a total uphill battle going towards the MSU commit Zac Kelly. The shots went back and forth with senior Jaden Talley and the opposing goalie making fantastic saves. Eventually, however, it came down to an unfortunate miss from freshman Roman Brummel that sealed the deal and sent the Rams into the next round of playoffs, while also sending the Rangers home.

This finalizes the Rangers’ season at 4-10 and ends the career for three very crucial seniors. The boys had a rollercoaster of a season, but they definitely had some exciting games that came down to the wire.