LAKEVIEW — All that was needed was some dramatic instrumental music to go with the fast, physical and highly entertaining soccer match between Lakeview and Greenville Friday.
When the dust finally settled, both teams had to settle for a 2-2 tie, but each team walked away with valuable learning lessons.
“We talked about how it would be a fast, physical game. We’ve played Big Rapids, Tri County and Fremont and it’s that kind of soccer, and it was, it was a great game,” said Lakeview’s coach, Chris Smith, who is in his 11th year at the helm.
While Smith’s Wildcats had a little more energy coming into Friday’s game, Greenville’s first-year coach Adam Scheidel said his team has been gassed from a string of games and practices packed into a grueling week.
“To start, we did a really good job of communicating, had some good passing, we spread it out, which I applaud,” Scheidel said. “I think, as the game went on, it’s been a very tough schedule for the girls. Three games, three practices, one day off, a lot of running and a tough conference. And they got only one day off.
“It’s been a long, rigorous stretch, and that physical fatigue has taken a toll on our mental ability to pay attention,” he added.
The Yellow Jackets (2-4-2 overall) went up 2-0 on a pair of goals from senior forward Kylee Krogman, the first, a 20-yard liner that sailed over Lakeview keeper Danielle Carpenter’s head at the 28:32 mark, and the second seven minutes later, that just sneaked by Carpenter.
“The first goal, I saw the keeper pretty far out so I thought I might as well take a shot,” Krogman said. “The second shot just slipped past her fingers, that’s why you take shots like that, things like that can happen.”
The Wildcats (5-3 overall), however, were unwavering, and were able to create a turnover at midfield, giving Lakeview’s Kenadee Cordray a wide open shot, which she nailed past Greenville freshman keeper Ana DePauw, hitting the cross bar and bouncing in to cut Greenville’s lead to 2-1 at the 21:39 minute mark.
In the second half, after Lakeview’s Morgan Schultz almost put the ball in the net from a corner kick pass, Savannah Sharp tied the game on a kick where the ball went through the hands of Greenville’s DePauw and into the wide open net at 21:19.
From there, both teams made several threats to score, including just before time expired, where players from both teams scrambled in front of the Greenville net from a corner kick, but DePauw was able to smother the ball to preserve the tie.
“Oh my gosh, we just needed someone to put a foot in there,” laughed Smith about the last-second scramble.
DePauw finished with 11 saves against Lakeview.
Carpenter was proud of her Wildcats team for making a comeback and holding on for a well-fought tie against a team from a larger school.
“It went really well. Everyone played hard and picked it up and got really close to a win,” said the sophomore keeper who made 10 saves on the day, a few where she slid into the ball to prevent Greenville a chance to kick it. “I felt pretty good making the saves, except the charlie horse.
“I think what we can take from this tie is to keep playing as hard as we can,” she added. “I think they (Greenville) were kind of easy to read today so I was more able and I felt like I was moving a lot better than I am and our defense was working hard, too.”
Krogman said her team, which had a few junior varsity players moved up due to injuries, did well overall, despite some minor setbacks on defense.
“Communication-wise, we were doing well. It was just, in the back, we were making silly mistakes,” Krogman said. “That was something we were very aware of in the game. We also came into a short field. Our field is bigger than this, so that was a little off for us, but just silly mistakes in the back, I think, that’s what happened today. But it’s on me, too, I can’t just blame my defense.”
Smith was happy with his team’s performance against Greenville and is hoping the tie will make them more hungry in the next string of games.
“From the tie tonight, we’ve been working those last couple nights with the Fremont and Big Rapids games, where it was close for a long time, into the second half, so it’s hard after a loss to say you were right there, you can do this, so it’s a little easier after the tie tonight to say, ‘see!’” Smith said. “That last scoring chance at the goal, we were five seconds away from a win. I think it’s great because it leaves a little for them to work for, they’re making steps, as long as we keep making them towards districts, that’s what we’re working for.”
Greenville will be on the road at Forest Hills Central at 7:10 p.m. Monday while Lakeview plays host to Reed City at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Lakeview: Smith gave senior Devin Wood the nod, who was all over the place against Greenville.
“Tonight was definitely her best as far as her causing trouble pretty much all over the place,” he said.
Greenville: Scheidel said the junior varsity players he called up — Erica Buchner, Ana DePauw and Haley Nauta — did a wonderful job of filling in the holes left by injured players.
“They stepped up. They did really well for not practicing with us that much,” he said. “They stepped in, filled their role, received direction really well. They did what we asked of them.”