Early Montague goal stands up in defensive battle
Story and photos by Tara Hefferan
Newaygo Lions soccer traveled to Montague on Friday to battle the Wildcats. In an upset, Montague prevailed, winning 1-0.
Early on the game was fairly evenly matched, with both teams applying offensive pressure. Midway through the first half, however, the Wildcats overwhelmed the Lions defense, slipping a header shot past keeper Barbara Toth. That would be the only goal of the match.
For the remainder of the game, the Lions, still weakened by sickness, were not able to keep pace with the Wildcats fast runs and aggressive tackles. This led to a mostly defensive second half for the Lions, who were to break out the ball from the defensive end only a handful times. Keeper Toth again was put to the test, confidently stopping the many shots fired against her.
Coach Painter: “It’s always tough to take a loss, especially in a game that you know you could have won. But to win against a solid opponent you have to do things right and I did not make sure our girls were prepared and ready to go. Montague was ready to play and they showed it from start to finish! Our defense was solid but we struggled to connect passes, which hampered our ability to build an attack. The eventual game winner was a beautiful cross for a header, and for that I just tip my hat and say ‘well done.’ We have three important conference games this next week and I hope we are healthy and come better prepared to meet the challenge!”
The Lions (4-0-1, 8-2-1) return to action next week, with three conference games on the road at Kent City, Tri-County, and Chippewa Hills.