LINCOLN-The Alpena Wildcats soccer team snapped out of a two-game losing streak to streak past the Alcona Tigers 5-1 on Thursday. The team played more aggressively, sharply and confidently.
Alpena coach Tim Storch attributed this to a team more focused on avoiding obvious errors.
"We cut down a lot on defensive errors," he said.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alcona’s Jared Steiner, left, battles Alpena’s Jon Fitch during a boys soccer game on Thursday at Alcona High School. Fitch scored two goals as Alpena came away with a 5-1 win.
Alpena (1-2) scored early with a kick from senior Jon Fitch 19 minutes into the game.
Alcona's Jason Steiner scored a minute later in what Storch identified as his team's lone error.
"That was a bad error at the goal," Storch said. "We had a loose ball and we lacksidasically pursued it, letting Alcona get it in."
This was Alcona's lone goal in a game dominated by Alpena. The first half saw the ball mostly in scoring position for Alpena with several missed shots at the goal.
Tied 1-1 at the half, Alpena came raging into the second half after a pep talk from Storch.
Fitch scored his second goal two minutes into the second half. One minute later, senior Aaron Mead had an excellent opportunity to score but the ball just wouldn't hit the net.
Five minutes into the second half, freshman Dillon Kendziorski scored Alpena's third goal of the game.
Senior Sawyer Hein played aggressively for the Wildcats and after missing a few scoring opportunities, Hein finally scored on a header midway through the second half to give Alpena a 4-1 lead.
Evan Frank booted in Alpena's last goal with 12 minutes to go in the game.
Storch singled out Fitch, Hein, Mead and Frank as playing especially well.
"Evan (Frank) really stepped up today and played well," Storch said. "It was great to see him getting in there and playing hard."
Alcona did not go down without a fight. There were several scoring chances throughout the second half that the team just couldn't capitalize on effectively. Its first chance came nine minutes into the second half with senior Jared Steiner breaking away from the Alpena defenders. He was unable to get it into the net and missed two minutes later on another breakaway scoring chance.
Three more Alcona scoring chances came towards the end of the game, two of which came in the last two minutes.
Alcona coach Tim Munro seemed proud of his Tigers.
"They put in a good effort," Munro said. "We came into this game 2-0. Our last two games were 7-0 and 8-0. These guys are just a different level of competition. They came out aggressive and ready to win."
Alpena plays its next game at home Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the Traverse City West Titans.