Spartans tripped up in district

Spartans tripped up in district

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Spartans tripped up in district

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After an evenly-played first half, Loy Norrix busted the game open to cruise to a 6-0 victory over host Lakeview in a Division 1 district-opening match on Tuesday.

“When two teams are really good or two teams are really great – if all things are even – it’s going to be your head and your heart that takes you above the other team,” said Loy Norrix head coach Matt McCullough.

“I believe the first half we didn’t have the head and the heart. We were just out there going through the motions. In the second half we came out with our head and our heart, we followed our game plan; we played with passion, and obviously exploded out of the gates.”

The game was 1-0 going into the half. The only goal came off a corner kick by Troy Swodzinski, which was headed in by Andrew Labadie in the 17th minute.

That was the only thing separating the two teams, who both played aggressively throughout the match.

The turning point came on a penalty kick awarded to Loy Norrix’s Jay McIntosh in the 62nd minute. After McIntosh scored to make it 2-0, the Spartans keeper Jake Herbers went down with an injury.

“He couldn’t punt the ball anymore,” said Lakeview head coach Ciaran Byrne. “So when he threw one out we kind of fell asleep defensively and gave up a penalty on that. But losing your starting keeper when the game’s tight is really difficult on anyone so it put us in a hard spot and we got beat for it.”

After the injury, with only 18 minutes left in the match, the Knights scored their last four goals.

The goals game off a McIntosh strike from the left corner of the box, a breakaway goal by Swodzinski (assisted by Labadie), a free kick from Jonathan Salazar, and a corner kick from Brian Bartley which was headed in by Labadie.

“We were doing what we hoped. We set a game plan before kickoff and obviously we didn’t do it in the first half. The second half we did. We did a better job with our crossing of the ball, we did a better job with our runs off the ball, and with passion,” said McCullough. “As soon as we felt like we had some advantages we played harder and that paid off.”

The loss ends the season for Lakeview at 10-5-1, but the team provided a pleasant surprise for Spartans fans.

“I’m pleased with the way the season went,” Byrne said. “I think we did much better than a lot of people anticipated. We met a lot of our goals and did as well as we possibly could. We played above ourselves in a lot of games.”

Loy Norrix will advance to face the winner of the Kalamazoo Central/Portage Northern game.

The Knights finished with 16 shots to Lakeview’s three shots on goal.

MORE BOYS’ SOCCER DISTRICTS

DIVISION 1 AT LAKEVIEW

(At) Portage Central 4, B.C. Central 0: Battle Creek Central ends the season 11-8 overall, a six-improvement from 2011.

The Bearcats’ Hexxon Villa made 17 saves in the contest, which was scoreless for the first 60 minutes of play.

DIVISION 3 AT COMSTOCK

Paw Paw 1, (At) Pennfield 0: Pennfield’s Darian Brown made 10 saves in the loss. The Panthers end the season 8-10 overall.

Parchment 4, Delton Kellogg 3: Delton Kellogg ends the season 6-12-1 overall.

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