ALPENA — Closing it out strong.
The Petoskey High School boys’ soccer team wrapped up the regular season Thursday with a 1-0 win over Alpena in a Big North Conference match.
Evan Altman scored the game winning goal 15 minutes into the first half as the Northmen improve to 11-8-2 overall, 9-3 league.
“Alpena has been on a nice roll,” Petoskey coach Zach Jonker said. “Their only loss the second time around the league was at T.C. West. They are very dangerous on restarts and it was our goal to limit those opportunities.”
Altman’s goal came after Austin Redes made a nice move to beat an Alpena defender to the end line before he slotted a perfect ball across the face of the goal. Altman then tapped it in on the back post.
Alpena came close to scoring on a long throw, but that was about all their chances.
“We executed our plan pretty well and had long stretches of great possession and forced their keeper into some tough saves,” Jonker said. “It was a nice way to close out the regular season.”
Goalkeeper Drew Smith earned the shutout in goal and “got off his line well to collect a few dangerous through balls,” Jonker said.
A.J. Hoffman, Connor Ingelson and Eric Hoffman went the distance in the second half on the backline and stayed organized in front of Smith, which limited Alpena’s chances.
“The guys showed a lot of character,” Jonker said. “Many were forced into unfamiliar roles and they performed very well. The versatility of our entire squad is really one of our strengths. We have been without Matt Dankert and Trent McCullough for over two weeks.
“They have both been having great senior seasons and it is imperative that we get those guys healthy for next week.”
Petoskey will open Division III district tournament play on Tuesday, Oct. 16, as they’ll face Gaylord at the Click Road Soccer Complex.
Petoskey also won the JV match, 6-0, as Ben Hoffman had two goals and two assists to lead the Northmen. Also for Petoskey, Romario Salmon had a goal and an assist, while Zach Hoffman, Spencer Wineman and Matt Aghajeri had a goal apiece. Brian Riordan had two assists, while Cooper Carpenter added an assist. Nathaniel Reed and Aghajeri shared the shutout in goal.
Harbor Light 2, Charlevoix 0
CHARLEVOIX — HoGeon Kim score both Swordsmen goals late in the second half as Harbor Light Christian shut out Charlevoix Thursday in a non-league match.
With the win, the Swordsmen close the regular season at 7-13-2 overall.
“We’re hoping this gives us a boost going into districts,” Harbor Light coach Pat Collins said as his team will face Harbor Springs at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at the Click Road Soccer Complex. “We’re playing well going in and we figured out a way to win this game.”
Following a scoreless first half, Kim scored his first goal with close to 10 minutes left in the second half off a pass from Caleb Wendt. With four minutes to play, Kim made it 2-0 as he scored on the right side off a cross from Alex Redman.
Defensively, Collins lauded the play of Leo Ocanas, Jacob Anderson, Skyler Morgan, James Skop and goalkeeper Zach Grosskopf. Grosskopf finished with eight saves in earning the shutout.