TRAVERSE CITY — Henrik Ohr is catching on pretty quickly.
The exchange student from Norway scored three goals Monday — his second hat trick of the season — to lead Leland to a 4-2 win over Traverse City Christian.
With the game tied 1-1, Ohr had a first-half penalty kick stopped by Sabres goalie David Bump.
“That made me a little angry,” said Ohr, a senior. “So I had to get the anger out. The goalkeeper on the other team had a lot of good saves. We just kept going and then the goals started coming.”
And did they ever.
Ohr scored the game’s next three goals.
The Comets had at least four serious threats in the second half’s first 12 minutes, including two Christian defenders clearing the ball off the line and one shot off the post.
Then with 18:17 remaining, Ohr scored the first of his triumvirate of goals, rifling a shot into the right corner for Leland’s first lead of the game.
At 13:53, he finished off a criss-cross volley with an assist from Cam Stowe and then fired another blast into the right corner after Tony Mosquedo picked off a pass in the defensive zone. Mike Osorio picked up an assist on the play.
With 3:37 remaining, TC Christian struck on a Cam Beemer goal, his second of the day. Dennis Alekseyenko assisted.
“It was a big one,” Leland coach Joe Burda said of the win. “We haven’t beaten them in the regular season yet. At least in quite awhile. It feels good to get a win on this field that’s not in a tournament.”
In Burda’s four years, this is just the Comets’ second win at the TBAYS Keystone complex. The first came in last year’s playoffs.
“They got out of the conference this year,” Burda said. “And they went undefeated in the conference for a lot of years running. I haven’t seen it, whether it’s six or eight years, maybe more than that. They had a good run.”
“I remember a lot of 2-1 ball games,” Sabres coach Ron Christie smiled.
The Sabres took a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute on Beemer’s first goal, assisted by Wesley Nelson.
“I don’t know about feeling pretty good with that 1-0 lead,” Christie said. “Leland had their four defensive backs back from last year, which was a very, very good team. And they’ve got a lot of speed up top, so we knew that wasn’t going to do it.”
Leland was able to knot it up on Noah Fetterolf’s goal off a scrum in the box in the 26th minute.
“We had a lot of good chances the first half,” Burda said. “But Bump made a lot of good saves, too. Once Henrik opened it up in the second half, he makes goalies guess and he makes them guess wrong.”
“It’s good to see that take place before the tournament,” Christie said. “It’s a learning experience for everybody.”
Bump had eight saves for TC Christian, and Leland’s Mike Farese stopped nine of 10 shots.
Now back to Ohr.
He plays two fall sports — and chose the right teams to play for.
His Comets are ranked No. 8 in Division 4 soccer, and he’s also the kicker for Glen Lake’s football team, which is undefeated at 4-0.
In the last four games, Ohr has scored all of his nine goals this season — including multi-goal contests against Suttons Bay, Benzie Central and Christian.
“I had to wait for a couple games before I could start playing,” Ohr said of his eligibility.
And then it took a little while to adjust to American-style soccer.
“The last few games, he’s finally coming around and opening up a little bit,” Burda said.
Ohr even had a coach from Kalamazoo College approach him after Monday’s game.
“European soccer is more with the ball down,” Ohr said. “We take it more easy and don’t stress that much with the ball. When we have the ball, the first thing we do is try to score. In Norway, where I’m from, we try to keep the ball and make the other team tired and then go for goals. That’s the big difference.”
“But our players are really good. We have a great defense. And I have a lot of good players around me on this team. Cam (Stowe) has great ball skills. We have a really good team.”
Leland’s next game is again Ohr’s other school — Glen Lake — on Thursday, while the Sabres host Grayling the same day.