Soccer team wins 2-0 vs. Traverse City Christian with two 2nd half goals
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Vikings defeated the Traverse City Christian Sabres 2-0 on Tuesday night during a varsity boys soccer game hosted by Grayling High School.
Neither squad scored in the first half. Grayling got on the board in the second half with a goal by Eliot Boik. The Vikings were able to maintain their lead, defending a few surges by the Sabres, and the Vikings scored their second goal of the contest with 25 seconds left in regulation.
Boik finished with two goals for Grayling. Gabriel Nano and Anthony Harrington had assists for the Vikings.
“They’re a talented team, probably more talented than us, but our guys have been doing a really good job of coming together and playing as a team. I love the way the guys played tonight,” Coach Brad Wagner said.
Coach Wagner said the key to the game for Grayling was winning possession of the ball. He said Boik’s first goal was a great example, because it was set up by a teammate.
“It was Mason (Manning) winning the ball to start the whole thing,” Coach Wagner said. “That’s how they played all night. They just won balls.”
The Vikings will play at Charlevoix on Thursday, Sept. 21.
Vikings and Blazers play to a 1-1 tie at Kalkaska on Thursday
The Grayling Vikings tied the Kalkaska Blazers 1-1 on Thursday night during a varsity boys soccer game – a Lake Michigan Conference contest – hosted by Kalkaska.
The Blazers scored on a penalty kick with 15:31 left in the first half. Grayling got a red card (ejection) on the play (for non-goalkeeper using a hand to touch the ball on a shot going into the net) and the Vikings had to finish the contest with 10 players vs. Kalkaska’s 11.
The Vikings were able to generate several scoring chances in the first half, but they were not able to put the ball in the net.
At halftime, the Blazers led 1-0.
Grayling scored early in the second half. Anthony Harrington kicked the ball past the Kalkaska keeper and into the net on a cross by Gabriel Nano.
With 35:06 left in the second half, the score was tied at 1-1.
Both teams had chances down the stretch, but neither was able to capitalize, and the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The Michigan High Athletic Association, with a new rule this year, eliminated overtime and shoot-outs for regular season soccer.
Having to play one man down for part of the first half and all of the second half forced Grayling to make some adjustments.
“We’d never practiced for such a situation,” Coach Brad Wagner said. “We had to rely on the kids’ experience on the pitch to restore balance. We made some adjustments at halftime. The dudes were confident. We still thought we were in the game.”
“We had opportunities,” Coach Wagner said. “We had pressure and opportunities. We didn’t capitalize.”
On Thursday, Sept. 7, in the team’s second Lake Michigan Conference contest of the 2017 season, the Vikings tied the Boyne City Ramblers 3-3. The Ramblers hosted the game.
The Vikings had to rally from a two-goal deficit to tie the contest.
“We were down 3-1 with about 10 minutes left,” Coach Wagner said. “I thought the guys showed a lot of character. We were playing into the wind and rain in the second half. The guys battled the whole time.”
The Vikings (4-1-2 overall, 1-0-2 league) will host the Elk Rapids Elks at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25.