LAKEVIEW — Lakeview’s soccer team battled the wind, the rain and Newaygo Thursday.
The Wildcats beat the elements. The Lions? Not so much.
Ben Wolford scored on a breakaway in the 59th minute to break a 1-1 tie and lead the Lions to a 2-1 win over the Wildcats in the final regular season game for both teams.
“It was a really good game of soccer,” Lakeview coach Chris Smith said. “Unfortunately, a couple of miscues defensively and not being able to finish a couple of good chances at the end.”
The Wildcats (6-13-1) needed only 1:02 to get the first goal of the game, scoring after David Wheeler hit the post with his first shot, but scoring on the second.
“The goal was great,” Smith said. “It boosted us up.”
However, Newaygo (9-8-1) scored with 38 seconds left in the first half when Dakota Davis knocked a goal past Lakeview goalkeeper Lucas Sweet.
“I thought we, for the most part, controlled the first half,” Smith said. “They (Newaygo) tied it up late. I was kind of hoping to get one in there before halftime, but it didn’t work out that way.”
The Wildcats outshot the Lions 5-3 in the first half.
Afterward, Newaygo’s Wolford secured the game-winner when he got a long lead pass and knocked it by a sprawling Sweet.
“They (Newaygo) made some good adjustments at halftime and came out with good control,” Smith said. “For the most part, our defense handled it. A couple of mistakes, one which led to the goal, then couldn’t quite get the good scoring chances to get back in it.”
Lakeview did pick up a few good chances, including the fourth goal post hit of the game by Wheeler.
“I was hoping we would pick it up earlier than that,” Smith said. “We got some good chances in the last few minutes but the bounces didn’t go our way.”
Lakeview was outshot 10-0 in the second half. Sweet finished with 11 saves in the game.
Newaygo goalie Kyle Wright made only four saves, but none in the second half.
The Wildcats will head to Reed City for the start of the district tournament Monday against the Coyotes. Smith noted the Wildcats and the Coyotes split their two regular-season games.
“Both were close games, lots of goals scored in both games,” Smith said. “Defensively, we know what we need to do to stop them (Newaygo). We’ve seen them twice. We know what their game plan will be. We’ve proven to ourselves we can score on them and we just have to come out and play hard and play together.
“We won at Reed City in the regular season and we’re hoping to win up there again,” Smith said.