Men’s soccer bounces back into the win column with win against Lakeland
By Natalie Shirvanian
After suffering a devastating loss to rival Ancilla on Oct. 2 in double overtime, the men’ soccer team had to quickly refocus in preparation for their Oct. 4 match against visiting Lakeland Community College. Despite suffering their second loss of the regular season, the team remains determined to win the rest of their six games remaining.
The Lakeland Community College matchup proved to be the kick starter to that goal, as the Ocelots defeated Lakeland, 4-1.
Due to eligibility, a few missing players forced second string players to step up and prove their spot on the team, as they did. While it has been a challenge for the men to adjust to the changes, it has not stopped the Ocelots from working hard against their opponents. “It [eligibility] has forced our team to be different at different times, and we prepare for adverse scenarios and responded very well,” said Schoolcraft’s head coach Rick Larson.
The Ocelots played strong on both ends of the field putting two in the net in the first half. Freshman defense Kebba Sanneh scored the first goal against Lakeland at the 16:54 mark, assisted by sophomore forward Victor Contreras, 1-0 Schoolcraft.
Sanneh who was playing primarily a defensive role contributed greatly in offense and defense against Lakeland. “I went from playing defense and forward, now he [coach Larson] found a place where I can help the team,” said Sanneh.
Although the Ocelots allowed one goal by Lakeland at the 34:16 mark tying the game 1-1 , they tightly defended Lakeland the rest of the game. At the 44:10 mark, freshman midfielder Jacob Rosen fired one in with an assist by sophomore defender Leopoldo Arevalo, putting the Ocelots up 2-1. While Lakeland continued to try and defend the Ocelots, the men were not ready to stop scoring.
Going into the second half, the Ocelots continued the strong defense and played a skillful offense adding two more in the half. At the 56:50 mark, sophomore forward Costa Wells sank one with assists by Contreras and Arevalo. Sophomore midfielder Davide Di Poce scored unassisted at the 73:58 mark, ending the game with a win for the Ocelots, 4-1.
Although the Ocelots have bumped players around, the match against Lakeland was much needed to mark their position in the conference, as well as the region. With the changes made and taking players out of their comfort zone, they showed strong skill sets that were utilized to win the match on Sunday.
Contreras said,“Teams are going to work hard, so we have to work hard too and be better.”
According to Contreras, the tightness of the team helps them bounce back from their losses to win the rest of their games. “Against Muskegon [on Sept. 27] we only played with ten players, and even though it was like that, the team became a family. That’s why we won, because we brought in every single guy and became one,” said Contreras.
The Ocelots have another chance to redeem themselves from the loss against Ancilla Community College on Oct. 16 at home at 4 p.m. For more information about schedules, stats and rosters go to www.MCCAA.org.