Aidan Day has established himself as one of the premier soccer players in the state. On Thursday, Day scored a remarkable goal with 15:35 left in the game to give Alpena a 1-0 lead over Petoskey. The goal not only gave Alpena a lead late, but it was also Day’s 48th career goal which is good for first all-time in Alpena High School history.
Day got free a sent a ball flying on what was a near perfect shot that beat the Petoskey keeper for a historic goal.
“It feels wonderful. I’ve been shooting for it my entire high school career and it finally happened and it just feels wonderful. I have half of a season left and I have a lot left in the tank that’s for sure,” Day said. “I continued to work hard and continued to improve year after year and this year all my hard work is paying off in my senior season. It’s wonderful to see that hard work pay off, but the ultimate goal is to always win as a team and that’s what our goal is the rest of the season.”
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, a win is something that they had slip away from them late as they played to another tie, this time tying Petoskey 1-1.
After taking a lead late, it looked as if the Wildcats were destined for their first BNC win of the season. Moments after Alpena’s go-ahead goal, the rain began to come down in buckets which made it difficult for both sides.
Alpena continued to attack and apply pressure, but a final push from Petoskey paid off as they beat the Wildcat defense back and Northmen forward Zach Hintz snuck one by Alpena keeper Wenton Harrison for the tying goal.
“I thought we played good soccer. Our possession was good and we played against a quality team, but it’s tough when you get the lead and under seven minutes and don’t hold it,” Alpena head coach Tim Storch said. “I thought about playing more defensively, but we were playing so well I didn’t want to go in defensive shallow and invite more pressure. We had a different lineup in due to a yellow card and unfortunately they took advantage of it.”
It was an even battle all night in difficult conditions as there was end-to-end action right from the opening whistle.
Both teams played a scoreless first half that featured a few opportunities for each side, but neither team could take advantage.
The Northmen had their best scoring chance of the night four minutes into the second half when they had a wide open shot in front of the Alpena net sail high.
The Wildcats’ best opportunity to that point came at the 18 minute mark when Grant Botha led a shot rip from way out, but the ball went just above the crossbar.
Alpena received a yellow card shortly after Botha’s miss and Storch was unhappy with the call and his emotions seemed to fire up the Wildcats as they responded as Day netted his 16th goal of the season and his career record-breaker.
The tie leaves Alpena with a 6-4-3 overall record on the year and 0-2-3 in BNC play.
The Wildcats are back in action tomorrow when they host their annual Huron Shores Invitational soccer tournament.