The Alpena boys soccer team (2-5, 0-2 Big North) took out the Division 4 Alcona Tigers (2-3, 0-0 North Star League) 6-0 on Thursday, in a game that saw overwhelming offensive pressure from the Wildcats in the second half.
"It's great to see things that you practice in training coming to the guys. I thought we were a lot faster, moved more to one-two touch passes and we kept them doing a lot of chasing. You can see how our earlier tough schedule, even though it got us some losses, forced us to get a lot better much more quickly," Alpena coach Tim Storch said.
Willie Santos Perez was Alpena's top scorer, picking up two goals in the second half. His second goal bounced off Alcona keeper Chase Matthews' hands and back in front of Perez's foot. He booted it in for the goal, giving Alpena a 6-0 lead with two minutes left to play.
News Photo by Eric Benac
Alpena soccer player Zach Kendziorski, left, goes up against Alcona’s Brandon Smigelski in a home soccer match-up on Thursday. Kendziorski scored the first of Alpena’s six goals in a 6-0 shutout of Alcona.
Alpena's first goal came courtesy of Zach Kendziorski,15 minutes into the first half. He also assisted Peter Guest in the second goal of the game, 26 minutes into the half.
Alcona held its own against Alpena for the first half thanks to Matthews.
Matthews may have let six goals by his hands, but made several saves as well.
"Their goalkeeper did a great job tonight, I think he really helped keep them in the game. He's a relatively new goalkeeper, but he made a lot of great, difficult saves," Storch said.
Mitch Mead scored the third goal of the game, 24 seconds into the second half. Asger Nissen scored the fourth goal just under a minute later, putting Alpena ahead 4-0. These two goals, combined with Perez's scores, prevented any last minute Alcona heroics or tying chances.
Alcona defenders Schulyer Bates and Nick Lamantia broke up a lot of Alpena plays in the second half and tried to set up plays for offensive players like Jason Steiner and Jeff Schram. Both Steiner and Schram had a few breakaway chances throughout the game, but their plays were broken up by Alpena's defensive players like Riley Garant and Dakota Knecthel.
Although the Tigers lost, coach Tim Munro was proud of his team's effort.
"They put in a good effort tonight. I thought it was a good learning experience for the boys. Anytime a Division 4 teams plays a Division 1 team like Alpena, you learn something. We have a tournament up in Harbor Springs this weekend and I think this game helped prepare the boys for the toughness of tournament action," he said.
Alcona hosts its first North Star League game against Fairview on Monday. Alpena plays again in Harbor Springs at 5 pm on Monday. They host Ogemaw Heights on Tuesday.
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