Soccer team advances to district semifinals with 5-1 win vs. Huskies
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The varsity boys soccer team from Grayling High School started its 2017 postseason run with a 5-1 victory vs. the Benzie Central Huskies on Monday night during a round one District 48-3 game played at Viking Stadium.
The Huskies scored first, taking a 1-0 lead with a goal at the 25:56 mark in the first half.
Just over one minute later, the Vikings responded with a goal by Gabriel Nano.
The score was tied at 1-1.
With 13:43 left in the first half, Ben Robbins scored on a pass from Nano. Grayling led 2-1.
At the 5:42 mark, Mason Manning scored for the Vikings on a pass from Nano.
The halftime score was Grayling 3, Benzie Central 1.
Approximately 8.5 minutes into the second half, Robbins scored on a pass from Nano.
At the 24:58 mark, Manning scored on a pass from Louis Cotton.
Neither squad scored in the final 24:57, and Grayling won 5-1.
Coach Brad Wagner said the squad played well on defense, creating offense with balls played from the back line to the midfield, and the players did a good job of making extra passes to set up scoring opportunities.
“We talk about developing an attack out of the back line,” Coach Wagner said. “We wanted to give these guys a rodeo of trouble. We wanted to play with a short field. I think we did.”
Vikings fall to Ramblers 4-3 in district semifinals after late second half goal
Grayling High School’s varsity boys soccer team ended its 2017 season with a 4-3 loss vs. the Boyne City Ramblers on Wednesday during a Michigan High School Athletic Association District 48-3 semifinal match hosted by the Vikings.
It was the third meeting between the two teams this year. During the first contest – Sept. 7 at Boyne City – the game ended in a 3-3 tie. On Oct. 2, during a match hosted by Grayling High School, the Vikings defeated the Ramblers 4-0.
Grayling advanced to Wednesday’s district semifinal game with a 5-1 victory vs. Benzie Central on Monday night during the first round of the District 48-3 tournament.
On Wednesday night, Boyne City scored first, getting a goal on a one-timer off of a cross. With 28:25 left in the first half, the Ramblers led 1-0.
With 13:48 left in the first half, Gabriel Nano scored for Grayling on a cross from Garrett Reilly, tying the contest at 1-1.
Approximately six minutes later, Anthony Harrington scored, kicking the ball into the net after a free kick by Ben Robbins deflected off the Boyne City goalkeeper.
Grayling led 2-1.
At the 4:24 mark, Boyne City scored, tying the game at 2-2. A few minutes later, with 41 seconds remaining in the first half, the Ramblers scored again.
At halftime, the score was Boyne City 3, Grayling 2.
After 14 scoreless minutes to start the second half, Nano intercepted a pass from Boyne City’s goalkeeper and passed to Mason Manning, who kicked the ball into the net for Grayling’s third goal of the contest.
With 25:55 left in regulation, the score was tied at 3-3.
With 10:56 remaining in the game, Boyne City scored on a free kick from approximately 40 yards out.
Neither squad scored in the final 10:55, and the Ramblers won 4-3, ending Grayling’s season.
The coaches for the Grayling squad said this year’s group was like a family and had a lot of positive chemistry.
“If there was ever a group of dudes I wanted to keep playing with, it was them,” Coach Brad Wagner said after the game.
The Vikings finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 9-6-3 (4-4-2 league, 1-1 playoff).