Disappointing defeat

Wildcats suffer 4-1 loss to Big North rival Trojans

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alpena’s Noah Carstens (8) uses his head to deflect a ball away from Traverse City Central’s Max Fiegel (20) during the first half of a Big North Conference soccer game on Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium.

The effort put in by the Alpena High boys soccer team during Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to Big North Conference rival Traverse City Central did not sit well with head coach Tim Storch.

The Wildcats came out of the gate sluggish and were dominated in the first half and throughout much of the game against a Central team that came in with just one win on the year.

“We were terrible. We were terrible in every facet of the game other than goalkeeping and this was a very depleted Traverse City Central team that game in with one win on the year and we made them look like they were the best team in the state,” Storch said. “We’re not a very good team right now and that pretty much shows that we played some subpar competition and if we can’t beat a team that has one win, we’re in trouble.”

The Trojans took advantage of Alpena’s slow start as the Wildcats looked be just going through the motions early in the first half. Solid play from goalkeeper Lawson Labean kept Alpena from trailing by several goals in the first few minutes of the contest.

Labean came up with a couple big saves to keep the game scoreless as the Trojans had the pressure on Alpena from the opening whistle.

Despite being dominated much of the first half, Alpena was the first to crack the scoring column as it stopped another scoring opportunity from Central and quickly took the ball the length of the field and Aidan Day found a wide open Caleb Eaton who found the back of the net to put the Wildcats up by one with 4:12 left in the half.

Alpena’s lead was short lived as the Trojans quickly answered as Wiley Fraser scored just 19 second later to send both teams into the break tied at one goal apiece.

“We were terrible. We don’t defend well, we don’t attack well and we don’t even play hard. That’s pretty much a recipe for a losing season,” Storch said. “I told the kids at halftime if you’re not good and can’t play well at least make an effort and unfortunately our effort was probably our strongest in the final minutes of the game and we’re headed towards a long season.”

Traverse City came out firing on all cylinders again in the second half and scored less than five minutes into the half on a goal from Maxwell Ranger.

The Trojans went on to add two more goals in the half from Andrew Roberts and Benjamin Brott as the Trojans once again outshot and outperformed Alpena on their home turf at Wildcat Stadium.

The Wildcats fall to 6-3-1 overall on the season and 0-2 in the BNC. Alpena will be back in action tomorrow when they host Gaylord.

“If we play like we did tonight, it will be the same result and we’ll lose by three goals. We’ll see what happens on Thursday,” Storch said.

Jonny Zawacki can be reached via email at jzawacki@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690.