BY DENNIS CHASE firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City West’s long-awaited soccer home opener ended with 32 minutes left on the clock Tuesday night.
With the Titans leading 5-0 on a slick and snow-covered field, Alpena coach Tim Storch elected, with the officials consent, to call it a game.
“I could see it coming from the get-go,” West coach Lauran Pinto said. “I was hoping we could at least get a half in because Alpena traveled all this way and we were ready to play. I was nervous the whole time thinking we might have to call it.”
West led 1-0 until late in the first half when the Titans scored twice to break it open.
“When we gave up those two goals to go down three, the referees told me that if they saw the situation getting unsafe, where players were in jeopardy of getting hurt, that was going to have a determining factor (if play continued). Obviously, when we gave up those two late goals, we had to try to do some things offensively and we exposed ourselves in the back and they got two more. At that point, we weren’t going to score five goals to come back, and there was no sense of getting anybody hurt on either team,” said Storch.
The Titans, now 2-0 in the Big North and 4-1-1 overall, dominated play, not allowing a single shot on goal.
“We were in our attacking third the whole first half,” Pinto said. “We were just having some struggles getting the ball in the back of the net. I think we had 15 shots on goal. I think the weather conditions messed with the girls a little bit. But we were able to talk at half and figure out a way to score two quick goals (in the second half).”
Kiley Kreple netted two of West’s first half goals.
“It was rough with the wind blowing the snow into your eyes, but no matter what the conditions we’re ready to play,” she said.
Kreple was surprised to see snow falling at the start of the game. Officials had to shovel off the lines at half.
“In one of my classes today we were looking at the radar,” Kreple said. “I didn’t see snow at all. This is definitely a surprise. I understand completely (why the game was called).”
Summer Slack, Jessica Kalbfleisch and Grace Earl also tallied for West, which travels to Ogemaw Heights on Thursday. Maria Rapson, Mikenna Ray, Jayna Brunetti and Kalbfleisch drew assists.
For Storch, the weather brought back memories when he was coaching Troy Athens in a boys state semifinal game with four inches of snow on the ground.
“This is the only thing close to that,” he said.
West also won the JV game 8-0. Macy Schwert netted three goals and Kari Cannon and Ellie Taplin two for the Titans (4-1-1). Emily Walton added a solo goal. Taplin, Walton, Cannon and Stephanie DeVries picked up assists. Kaylie Camp had the shutout in goal.
Big North Conference Soccer standings
Cadillac 2 0
TC West 2 0
TC Central 2 1
Gaylord 1 1
Alpena 1 2
Petoskey 0 2
Ogemaw Heights 0 2