Wildcats capture Huron Shores Invitational championship

News Photo by Jonny Zawacki Alpena’s Deven Saranen (right) and Alcona’s Travis Buurma battle for a loose ball during the championship game on the Huron Shores Invitational at Wildcat Stadium on Saturday.

The Alpena soccer team couldn’t have asked for a much better day to hold its annual Huron Shores Invitational tournament at Wildcat Stadium.

Not only did the Wildcats play host to seven other teams in their annual tournament, but Alpena went a perfect 3-0 and outscored the opposition 14-1 on their way to bringing home some hardware.

“It’s a step away from Big North play and we were able to invite some other teams from around the area and see different styles of play. It’s one of my goals to not only see our program get better, but see surrounding area teams get better too because as they get better so will we,” Alpena coach Tim Storch said. “I was really happy with the balance that we had today. We’re not a deep team and we’re forced to have people be very versatile. We had goals from a handful of different players and that’s great to see.”

After taking care of Cheboygan and Kalkaska in the first two games of the day, Alpena advanced to the championship game and played Alcona.

Much like the rest of the day, Alpena dominated and came away with a convincing 5-0 victory to bring home the hardware.

The Wildcats wasted little time putting balls in the net as Aidan Day opened the scoring less than two minutes in after he gained possession on a rebound and capitalized on the second chance.

Ten minutes later, the same scenario developed again, but this time it was Caleb Zaborney controlling the rebounding and finding the back of the net.

Alpena added two more goals late in the half as Deven Saranen and Noah Carstens each scored on long distance shots that sailed over Alcona goalkeeper Aidan Wrobel’s head and into the net.

The Tigers best scoring chance came midway through the first half as a ball nearly crossed the goal line, but Alpena’s Jake Schiller made an incredible defensive play, sliding and kicking the ball to the side to prevent a goal.

The Wildcats added one more goal with 21:14 left in the game as Josh Beatty scored on a penalty kick to give Alpena a 5-0 lead and one they were able to hang onto and win by.

Alpena shut out Cheboygan by the same score in the first game of the day as the Wildcats got goals from Grant Botha, Caleb Eaton, Carstens and a pair off the leg of Day.

Alpena defeated Kalkaska 4-1 in the semifinal game as Botha and Day each scored a goal apiece and Eaton netted two goals.

The Wildcats improve to 9-4-3 overall on the season and will look to carry the momentum they gained over the weekend into tomorrow’s Big North Conference matchup when they host rival Traverse City Central.

“Central is a game we look back on and see it as a game that slipped away from us. We get another chance to see them and the league is so tight right now,” Storch said. “This is a week coming up where coming in we have played a lot of soccer in a short period of time so we just need to focus on playing two games while doing our best to come away with two wins.”


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