ALPENA - The Alpena girls soccer team picked up a much-needed win against Ogemaw Heights on Tuesday, shutting down the Falcons 6-1. It was Alpena's second win over Ogemaw this season.
"I thought we playd very well. We knocked the ball around and we were dangerous from a lot of different players," Alpena coach Tim Storch said. "Chloe Ferguson did very well defensively. Another girl that stood out, possibly her best game of the year, was Emily Code. Miya Ingle also played well on defense."
Alpena (2-6-1, 2-5 Big North) took a quick lead when Tatiana Burcar scored her first goal three minutes into the game. The Wildcats' offense continually pressured the Falcons throughout the first half, preventing any significant offense from starting.
News Photo by?Eric Benac
Alpena’s Sarah Swider (8) moves in on defense against Ogemaw’s Bronwyn Gilmore in a game on Tuesday. Alpena shut out the Falcons for the win.
The Falcons were able to defensively hold the Wildcats through most of the rest of the first half. Alpena scored again when Burcar took at shot at 34 minute mark.
While her shot didn't fall into the net immediately, it did hit an Ogemaw player. It bounced of her and made it into the back of the net, giving Alpena the 2-0 lead.
Megan Martin added a third goal two minutes later. She scored it on an unassisted break.
The Wildcats scored just under 10 minutes into the second period when Jackie Nardi booted in an unassisted goal to give Alpena a 4-0 lead.
Ogemaw continued to struggle under the persistent pressure of Alpena's defense. It also struggled to get any past goalkeeper Carly Hoeksema, who picked up multiple saves in each half and gave up no goals.
Anneliese Mathia booted in another goal for Alpena with an assist by Hannah Fitch while Morgan Allen hit a Mathia assisted goal to give them the big 6-0 spread.
The Falcons finally scored late into the game off replacement goalie Cassie Merritt, but it was too late for Ogemaw to pull off any kind of comeback.
Many of Alpena's junior varsity players got the chance to shine. Nardi, Merritt and Ingles are all JV players who Stoch may be able to build on for future varsity success.
"There were just a lot of players that are showing improvement and its nice when you show improvement, but also get results," Storch said. "That just kind of reinforces what you're trying to do every day at practice and the messages you're trying to send as a coach and how the players are receiving them."
Alpena travels to Gaylord on Thursday and then hosts the inaugural Sunrise Soccer Classic on Saturday. It hosts Boyne City at 11 a.m., Marquette at 2 p.m. and Clarkston High School at 6:30 p.m..
Eric Benac can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.