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Traverse City West

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City West’s seniors broke the streak.

The Titans beat a team from Ohio.

West head coach and Ohio native Matt Griesinger started bringing in top soccer teams from his home state four years ago for early-season competition.

Now, the Titans not only defeated one, but won the Traverse City West Labor Day Tournament in the process.

On the fourth tiebreaker, no less.

West and Griesinger’s alma mater, Strongsville, tied in points (four), head-to-head (they tied) and goal differential (plus-five). The two tied 0-0 Friday.

That left total goals scored as the difference, with the Titans edging out Strongsville by one following a 6-1 win Saturday over Whitehouse Anthony Wayne.

“We’ve been chasing an out-of-state win since 2017,” Griesinger said. “To do it the way we did is an experience for the seniors.”

Senior captains Colin Blackport, Josh Hirschenberger and Caleb Nowak accounted for all but two of West’s points Saturday. Hirschenberger put up a goal and three assists, Blackport notches a goal and two helpers and Nowak scored two goals. Ian Robertson and Noah Dorsch also scored goals for the Titans and Trae Collins made six saves.

West’s junior varsity placed second out of three teams, posting a 2-2 tourney record.

The Titans (2-2-2), who have played Ohio teams in four of their six games this season, see their next nine games in Big North Conference play, starting with a Thursday road trip to Petoskey.

Strongsville topped Elk Rapids 5-0 Saturday.

“We really worked on staying organized in the back end and defending,” Elks head coach Nate Plum said. “Lesson learned. That’s why we play these games.”

Garrett Decker made two saves and Jack Spencer three for the Elks, who play schools more their own size starting with road games at Charlevoix on Tuesday and at Harbor Springs on Wednesday.

Both local teams played to scoreless ties in Friday’s opening games of the two-day tournament.

Follow @Jamescook14 on Twitter.

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