Kienitz enjoying productive senior season for Coyotes

REED CITY — Matt Kienitz wouldn’t mind having his senior season be the best of his career.

The Reed City forward scored two goals last week in a 7-4 loss to Cadillac.

Kienitz has eight goals, which is second on the team, and has two assists.

“Being a senior, one of the tasks we had for him was being able to find the back of the net this year,” said Reed City coach Dave Mix. “His play has really been pivotal, I think, with our success, both from his goals he has scored and his midfield play ... positioning, some of his possessions and passes, from those types of items that aren’t on the stat sheet, have really helped us as he’s taken his game to a different level.”

Kienitz had two goals in the second half for the Coyotes against Cadillac, which had built a 6-0 lead. Reed City had a 4-1 scoring edge in the second half.

“It was possession, and we were ready to go,” Kienitz said, adding that in the first half, “our defense kind of broke down. (Cadillac) was spreading the ball wide.”

It’s Kienitz’s fourth year of soccer and second on varsity. He said that she’s shown improvement from a year ago when he scored four goals.

“It’s been a matter of hustle,” he said, adding that sending “through” balls has been a strength, plus helping out on defense. He’s working on ball control.

“We’ve shown a lot of improvement,” Kienitz said. “This is our fifth game in the last week. In the last week, we’ve had tons of improvement.”

The Coyotes hope to return to the district finals.

The key in future games is “possessing the ball and keeping it under control and spreading it,” Kienitz said. “I’d say it’s mainly possession.”

The only game this week is Thursday for Reed City at Big Rapids Crossroads.

“We have 11 matches down and seven to go,” Mix said. “We’ve pretty much developed our positional play and we’re looking to advance that to the next level. Obviously, the scoring has improved. We’re hoping to be able to continue that.”

Against Cadillac, Ricky Droke and Kienitz scored two goals apiece for Reed City.

Trailing 6-0 at halftime, the Coyotes came out fired up and scored within the first minute of the second half with Eric Reed crossing a pass to Droke for the easy score. Cadillac scored with 35:39 to play for a 7-1 lead.

Then the Coyotes took over. Kienitz scored on a header with 16:27 to play. He knocked in a rebound with 12:41 left on the clock for a 7-3 score. Droke notched Reed City’s fourth goal at the 9:31 mark.

“Cadillac is a quality program,” said Mix. “They have a strong program with strong players and tremendous athletic ability. They play the game very well.”

Cadillac is 4-4-2 while Reed City falls to 5-4-1.

In the second half “we challenged them,” Mix said. “We told them let’s see how well we can play against a quality team and play the full 40 minutes. We need to come out with a quick start.”

Dylan Kichak had 10 saves the whole game for Reed City.

The Coyotes won on Thursday at Scottville 4-1 over Mason County Central. Droke scored two goals for the Coyotes, 6-3-1.

Kienitz assisted on one of Droke’s goals. Reed and Kienitz also scored for the Coyotes.