Bay City Western played the role of spoiler for the Alpena girls soccer team on Friday.
The Warriors tallied three goals in the second half to beat the Wildcats 3-1 at Wildcat Stadium.
It was the third game in four nights for Alpena (4-7), who led 1-0 at the half, but couldn't capture it's third straight win and was playing without four regulars in its lineup.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alpena keeper Emma Strong, right, makes a stop on Bay City Western’s Jennifer Hacker during the first half of a girls soccer game Friday at Alpena High School.
"We got the early goal less than five minutes into the game and we looked good the first ten minutes and then you could see we ran out of gas," Alpena coach Tim Storch said. "We definitely played hard. Bay City Western has some good players, but you could see when ran out of gas and that's the culmination of three games in four nights and two games in two nights."
Kaitlynn Kowalski scored her eighth goal of the season less than five minutes into the game, but from there the game tilted in favor of the Warriors who put a number of shots on Wildcats' keeper Emma Strong.
The Warriors appeared to score in the final seconds of the first half, but the score stayed 1-0. Western then opened the second half by hitting the crossbar on a shot.
Jennifer Hacker scored the first of her two goals about 13 minutes into the second half, spinning off an Alpena defender to put a shot in the left corner.
DruAnne Brogen gave the Warriors the lead with 13 minutes left after the ball bounced off her past Strong after a Western free kick.
"I think we should've tied 1-1. The second goal, the rule of sports is you have to go to the ball in whatever sport you're playing," Storch said.
Strong, who hadn't allowed a goal in Alpena's two previous games this week, came up with several big time saves throughout the game. With 10 minutes to play in the first half, Strong made a stop on Hacker and then made a stop on a shot in front by Brogen in the last 90 seconds before halftime.
"She's learning and that's part of the learning curve. She's making really nice saves," Storch said of Strong. "I've been working with her to get better off her line and control her penalty area and that's something I think that will come with experience."
Hacker recorded her second goal of the night with less than five minutes to play in the game after she outraced several Alpena players, held off the defensive efforts of Emily Duncan and booted a shot to the back of net.
Alpena will look to regroup as it resumes Big North Conference play next week and Storch praised the efforts of his team after a taxing week of games.
"I told the girls, 'Listen this is a good week. We had a chance to make it a great week.' The loss today doesn't negate the fact that it was a good week for our program," Storch said.
The Wildcats will play Tuesday at Gaylord.