Prep roundup: Late penalty-kick goal lifts Petoskey to 1-1 Big North soccer tie with T.C. West
John Bowers' penalty-kick goal with 7 minutes remaining lifted the Petoskey High School boys' soccer team to a 1-1 tie with Traverse City West on Tuesday. (News-Review file photo)
Petoskey is 6-11-3 overall, 5-4-2 league. The Northmen play host to Alpena on Thursday, Oct. 13, in their regular-season finale.
With the tie, West, the Big North champion, finished 9-0-3 in conference play. The Titans are 11-5-4 overall.
The result was the latest in a late-season surge by the Northmen, who are 3-1-2 in their last six starts after dropping 10 of their first 13 matches. The last six matches include a win over T.C. Central, and a tie with Elk Rapids, which is ranked 10th in Division III. Petoskey handed Central its lone Big North loss, and the Trojans will finish in second place in the league.
“It was another great result,” Petoskey coach Zach Jonker said of Tuesday’s match. “If you would have told me a month ago that we would beat Central and tie West the second time around in league play, I’m not sure I would have believed you.
“We were the only team in the league to take points off of those two teams. The guys have maintained an incredible attitude and have battled in every game since our low point, when we tied and lost to Ogemaw Heights respectively.
“We keep getting better with each game and we are learning from our early season mistakes. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
West’s goal came in the 35th minute of the first half off a powerful direct kick from 20 yards out by Kevin Cronin. It was Cronin’s league-leading 18th goal of the season. The ball deflected off the Northmen wall and eluded goalkeeper Branden Coats.
Petoskey was awarded a penalty kick when Ben Godfrey beat a West defender and had his jersey pulled inside the penalty box, Jonker said.
“Adam Bayer initiated the sequence with a great tackle at midfield,” Jonker said. “He quickly found Jake Mullin in a wide position and Mullin proceeded to beat two West defenders on the dribble and serve a perfect cross into Godfrey.”
Jonker said West had a decided edge of good scoring chances, but solid play from Coats in goal negated the Titans’ advantage.
“Coats played an outstanding game in goal to keep it at 1-0 and ultimately he gave us a chance to pick up the equalizer,” Jonker said. “We only had three available subs as a result of some injuries, and that makes the result even more impressive. Our backline of Noah Honaker, AJ Hoffman, Trent McCullough, Tanner Davis and Matt Dankert played well in front of Coats.”
Jonker also lauded the play of Nick Swartzfisher in the midfield, and that of Hunter Viles up top.
West won the JV match, 5-0.
Harbor Light 3, Sault Ste. Marie 3
HARBOR SPRINGS — Kirk Muller, Young Min and Caleb Wendt scored the goals for Harbor Light Tuesday as the Swordsmen played to a non-league tie with the Sault.
Lucas Matthews made seven saves in goal for the Swordsmen, 5-11-1, while Daniel Klevorn played well in the midfield, and Cal Ortlieb, Leo Ocanas and Jake Ellis were the defensive standouts, coach Pat Collins said.
Burt Lake NMCA 8, Cheboygan 0
CHEBOYGAN — Aaron Chatfield had three goals and two assists as the Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian Academy improved to 20-0 with a non-league win on Tuesday.