The Alpena girls soccer team didn't end the regular season the way it was hoping to.
The Wildcats fell behind 3-0 at halftime and couldn't catch up to Traverse City Central as the Trojans ultimately took a 6-0 victory Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium on Alpena's Senior Night.
Five different players scored for the Trojans and Jacqueline Hardy scored twice.
News Photo by James Andersen
Alpena players Amanda Temple, left and Katie Brownell, right, battle for the ball with a Traverse City Central defender during a girls soccer game on Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium.
Hardy put Central on the board ten minutes into the game, sending a ball over Alpena keeper Emma Strong's head into the net.
Seven minutes later, Jalyna Cisneros put Central ahead by two.
Alpena (6-12) had some good chances early, but couldn't capitalize on them.
"It's a weird one to even put my finger on because we started out really well. We had two or three really good looking chances going in," Alpena head coach Tim Storch said. "I think it's a case where we gave up some bad goals in the first half."
Katie Wheeler added a goal with less than five minutes to play in the first half, tapping in a shot off a pass to send Central into halftime with a 3-0 lead.
Before the game, Alpena honored its eight seniors-Trisha Searcy, Stephanie Dziesinski, Kaitlynn Kowalski, Amanda Temple, Saidee Jacobs, Maggie Skiba, Katie Brownell and Kristen Turske-and it was the upperclassmen who came up with some good chances in the second half.
Three minutes into the period, Temple had a chance for a shot on net before running out of space. A short time later, Kowalski had a chance off of a pass from Emily Duncan and sent the shot wide of the net.
Storch praised his group of seniors who helped the Wildcats improve from three wins in 2011 to six in Storch's first year as head coach and have helped lay a foundation for the future.
"In one year these girls have really kind of taken me into their family and I have very very close relationships with all of them. My only regret is that I only had one year to coach these seniors," Storch said. "I've told them they're going to be the foundation of better things to come for Alpena girls soccer."
Hardy netted her second goal of the night about 17 minutes into the second half and Alyssa Zick sent a shot past Jacobs on the left side with about 15 minutes to play to put Central ahead 5-0.
Jacobs took over for Strong in net midway through the first half.
"It's hard to come out with the same energy level when you're down 3-0 at half and we looked tired, fatigued and they kind of smelled blood in the water and played hard in the second half and got three more," Storch said of the Trojans.
Devin Blue tallied Central's final goal with 6:21 left in the game, put a shot past Jacobs with traffic in front of the net.
Alpena has a bye for the first round of districts and will play the winner of Tuesday's Traverse City Central-Traverse City West game next Thursday in Traverse City. Until then, the Wildcats will use their time off to rest up and get healthy and several players are working to get back to being 100 percent.
Though the matchup is sure to be a challenge, Storch said the Wildcats can be competitive as long as they play their game for a full 80 minutes.
"We're a team that if we don't give up bad goals, we can play in big spurts. We've got to do it for 80 minutes, not for 40 or 20 minutes," Storch said. "Sometimes it's nice to relish the role of being the underdog. Certainly in our district no one's going to be looking at us as the favorite coming in at 6-12. We'll see what that brings."