By ERIC BENAC
News Sports Writer
LINCOLN- The Alcona boys soccer soccer team ran into a few bumps in the road on Monday against Tawas. Alcona played hard but simply couldn't get the necessary offensive momentum to score and lost 4-0.
Alcona head coach Tim Munro was humble about his loss.
"They played harder and more aggressive than us," he said. "But we stayed in the game and never quit."
With this victory, Tawas has enough wins for the season (13-2-2) to guarantee sole ownership of their first Huron Shores Conference title.
"It feels good to finally win the conference," Tawas head coach Ken Cook said. "We've had some good teams in the last few years that got close, but we finally got it this year."
The first half of the game was a tight defensive lock between Alcona and Tawas. Alcona's Jared Steiner had the first shot of the game on a strong breakaway at just under a minute into the game but it was no good. Tawas didn't have a strong shot until Jared Junquit's shot at about seven minutes into the game.
Alcona did its best to bring the ball out of Tawas territory as goalie Aaron Ritchie made several excellent saves in the early part of the game.
Cook spoke highly of Ritchie's performance.
"Their goalie (Ritchie) was excellent," he said. "He really did a good job of keeping them in the game."
At 10 minutes into the game, Steiner very nearly scored as did Brandon Smigelski three minutes later. The rest of the first half was uneventful for Alcona as it struggled to mount an offensive attack. Tawas had several more shots on the goal but the first half ended with no score.
Munro commented on this at the end of the game.
"It was a very competitive game," he said, "We were 0-0 at the end of the first half and we were holding our own."
Unfortunately for Alcona, things did not turn out in its favor in the second half. The first 10 minutes saw little offensive action from either side until Tawas scored its first goal at about 12 minutes in. Matthew McArdle booted it in for the score.
Two minutes later, Dylan Decker scored the second goal. Alcona did a good job of taking the ball out of Tawas territory, but as shots mounted it was hard for Ritchie to stop every one of them.
Four minutes later, Austin Tressler Briggs scored Tawas' third goal.
At this point, Alcona began hustling had several excellent shots including strong attempts by Jason Steiner and Carson Jamieson that almost put Alcona on the score board.
With 25 minutes left, Tawas scored its final goal with a pass from Jacob Salwey turning into a headed score by McArdle.
Munro mentioned that the game was a milestone for four of his seniors.
"This is the last home game Aaron Ritchie, Jordan McCoy, Jared Steiner and Andy Cammack will ever play," Munro said. Ritchie and Steiner are four-year soccer players, McCoy is a third year while Cammack was a first-year player.
Alcona plays again in Standish on Thursday.