ELK RAPIDS — Seventeen up, 17 down.
None bigger than this one.
Aaron Chatfield had two goals and Paul Chatfield added one as Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian Academy upended Elk Rapids, 3-2, Thursday in a non-league high school boys’ soccer match.
NMCA, which is ranked fourth in the Division IV state coaches poll, improved to 17-0. Elk Rapids is 9-2-3 and ranked seventh in Division III.
“It wasn’t just a big win for our team, it was big for our program,” NMCA coach Lee Chatfield said. “Elk Rapids is a great team, great soccer program, great soccer tradition. It was a great win for us.
“It was a great test for us and we knew if we could beat them we could beat anybody. We knew this would be a barometer for us as a team. Great confidence booster. Our guys know they can compete at the highest level. Hopefully we can keep riding this moment.”
NMCA seized a 2-0 halftime lead and increased it to 3-0 10 minutes into the second half. The Elks got on the scoreboard with 20 minutes remaining and drew to 3-2 five minutes later.
”Our guys were playing well I think we got a little too comfortable,” said coach Chatfield, whose team has allowed just seven goals this season and had yet to surrender back-to-back scores before Thursday’s game. “When they got their second goal the momentum shifted and their crowd was back into it. For the first time we were rocked and our guys responded. They were resilient, stayed composed, and they played like champions tonight.”
Aaron Chatfield gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game when he scored on a penalty kick. Ten minutes later, Paul Chatfield scored off a Matheus Guimaraes assist.
“We were possessing the ball in the middle and Matheus played it up to Paul, Paul took a couple touches and ripped one in the corner,” coach Chatfield said.
Aaron Chatfield increased the lead to 3-0 when he scored on a free kick from about 25 yards.
Sweeper Wil Lovitt was a defensive standout for the Eagles, coach Chatfield said.
“Going in I was a little leery of our defense, but Wil stepped it up and had a great game,” He said. “He played probably the best game of his career. Wil really took on the leadership role and acted like a general.”
Stephen Thompson and Andrew Vandeyacht were NMCA’s other defensive standouts, while David Thompson earned the victory in goal.
Guimaraes and Marco Patz were the Eagles’ midfield standouts, coach Chatfield said.
“Marco Patz was like a motor the whole game,” he said. “He gave us great energy right through the middle. Somehow he was involved in every play. Which is great for us.”
Harbor Springs 2 Kalkaska 1
KALKASKA — John Bailey scored two second half goals as the Rams downed Kalkaska in a Lake Michigan Conference match on Thursday.
“The weather was miserable,” Harbor coach Ed Fantozzi said. “But we played well both offensively and defensively, despite the conditions.”