Prep soccer: Northmen continue late-season surge; unbeaten NMCA wraps up second straight league title
Petoskey¿s Drew Smith (16) settles a free ball in front of Alpena¿s Andrew Phillips Thursday during a 4-1 Petoskey win at the Click Road Soccer Complex. (Steve Foley/News-Review)
The Northmen are unbeaten in their last five starts, and 4-1-2 in their last seven. They finished the regular season 6-11-4 and 5-4-3 in the Big North.
“It was another nice result and again shows how much progress we’ve made considering we lost to them earlier in the season, 2-1, in Alpena,” said Petoskey coach Zach Jonker, whose team led, 1-0, at halftime.
“I think we are peaking at the perfect time of year and we have some nice momentum headed into the district tournament,” Jonker said. “It has been a work in progress all season, but the boys are really beginning to develop some strong chemistry and there is a great spirit within the squad. Our performances the past three weeks have all been outstanding and we are playing with a ton of confidence.”
Schwartzfisher opened the scoring three minutes in when the Wildcats failed to clear a McCullough cross. It was Schwartzfisher’s first varsity goal.
McCullough scored three minutes into the second half when he blasted a full volley past the keeper directly from a Nick Godfrey cross.
Swartzfisher picked up his second goal on what Jonker termed a “great solo run through the Alpena defense” as he dribbled past three defenders and coolly slipped the ball past the onrushing keeper with the outside of his foot.
Ben Godfrey finished the scoring when he took a nice pass from McCullough and finished from 12 yards out.
Alpena spoiled the Northmen shutout bid when it scored on a direct kick with 20 minutes remaining. Brandon Coats and Drew Smith split time in goal for the Northmen.
“In Alpena we got caught up playing their style in the second half and trying to beat them at their own game,” Jonker said. “Our home field at Click Road really plays to our strengths and we were able to dominate possession by keeping the ball on the ground and as a result we continually put our forwards into dangerous positions. It was nice to spread the scoring around and see both McCullough and Ben Godfrey have big offensive games.”
The Northmen were also bolstered by the return of junior Louie Lamberti, who had not played since Aug. 23 because of injury.
“He is a huge addition,” Jonker said. “He gives us another physical presence and is a versatile player we can plug into a few different spots.”
Griffin Christiensen scored both goals and Eric Hoffman had an assist to lead Petoskey to a 2-1 win in the JV match. Cooper Carpenter was the Petoskey goalkeeper.
NMCA 9, Clare 1
CLARE — Aaron Chatfield and Paul Chatfield each had a goal and an assist Thursday as Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian Academy rolled past Clare, 9-1, in the Northern Michigan Soccer League championship game.
It is the second straight NMSL title for the Eagles, who are 21-0 overall and ranked second in the Division IV state coaches poll.
Stephen Thompson, Polyos Kulvichien, Robert Taylor, Jake Lovitt and Matheus Guimaraes also scored goals for the Eagles, while Thompson finished with two assists, and Kulvichien and Marco Patz had an assist apiece.
The Eagles’ nine goals on Thursday gave them 153 for the season, a school record which eclipses the previous mark of 148 set by the 2004 NMCA squad which finished as the state runner-up in Division IV.
The 153 goals moves NMCA into a tie for scond on the all-time state list for goals scored in a season by a team with the 1988 Richland Gull Lake squad. Traverse City, 1984, is first with 171. The ’04 Eagles are fourth.