Gaining Momentum

Ocelots close down the competition; stay undefeated

By Austin Vicars
Staff Writer

Before the season started Mens Soccer Head Coach Rick Larson set some clear-cut goals for his team. He wanted to win the conference, advance to regionals and win nationals. Despite having some success last year, Larson believed there was room for improvement on defense, and he recruited several strong defensemen to strengthen the back end. The Ocelots brought in freshmen Nick Dykman, Aaron Gerbauer, and Joe Gerorgic to help out on defense this year.

_DSC0096“We gave away too many soft goals a year ago, which cost us some games. I think we’re better in the back and we’re better in the goal” said Larson.

The Ocelots had their first test of the season Aug. 23 against South Suburban. The game was the team’s season and home opener. Both teams battled back and forth all game, and at the end of regulation, the score was knotted up at 2-2.

In the fifth minute of overtime, defenseman Adam Antosh headed a ball that freshman Billy Werthman buried in the back of the net for the game-winning goal and Schoolcraft was able to pull away with a victory in an overtime thriller.

Before the Lakeland game on Aug. 26 Coach Larson said, “We just want to play a good, solid game.”

_DSC0400The team brought exactly what the coach ordered. The Ocelots won 5-1 in a landslide victory. The Ocelots came out strong to start the game taking an early 2-0 lead.

“We always seem to come out strong,” said freshman forward Jeff Dryzga. “We scored in the first five minutes, and then again in the next ten minutes. We passed the ball well, and worked together as a team,”

Just when everything was looking up for Schoolcraft, adversity struck, literally. About 30 minutes into the game, lightning struck, and a large storm swept across campus and the field.

After the delay, Lakeland came out and netted a quick goal. It was looking like the stage for a comeback had been set, but a slight momentum swing would not stop the Ocelots. Schoolcraft exploded offensively and scored three unanswered goals to seal the victory.

_DSC0474“Instead of hindering our mentality, it encouraged us to come out even stronger and get 3 more [goals],” said freshman left back Gino D’Orazio.

The Ocelots’ impressive start to the season continued when they traveled to Muskegon on September 3 and defeated the defending MCCAA champions 2-1. Schoolcraft scored in the first half making it 1-0 heading into half time. Coach Larson made the tactical decision to play freshman defenseman Joe Gerorgic as a forward in the second half, hoping it would result in an offensive boost. The risky decision paid off when Gerorgic went on to score the eventual game winning goal in the second half. Muskegon scored a goal late in the game, but it was not enough to overcome the Ocelots lead.

Now sitting at 3-0, Larson leads his team into the heart of their season, including home matches against Owens CC on Sept. 24