Late-game goal stymies Reed City

Tri County ends Reed City's soccer season

REED CITY – It came down to the wire, but the Reed City Coyotes couldn’t quite get the break they needed with Tri County scoring the winning goal with 54.6 seconds to play in a 4-3 Division 3 district quarterfinal victory on Wednesday at home.

The Coyotes’ season ends at 1-14 while Tri County advances to the semifinal round next week at 3-12.

Jared Poll scored the winning goal off a lengthy shot from a free kick.

“We played our hearts out,” Woods said. “We played our hardest out there. I’m very proud of the season we had. Sometimes we didn’t do our bests. We played with our hearts no matter what.” 

The Vikings had defeated the Coyotes 5-1 at Howard City during the regular season.

The rematch was tied at halftime. Aiden Pell scored for the visitors with 36:41 to play in the first half. But less than a minute later, Jared Johnson scored for the Coyotes, assisted by Austin Woods.

Tri County regained the lead with 31:47 to play on another goal by Pell. Elijah Lentz scord at 8:57 for the Coyotes to tie the game.

Both goalkeepers, Ian Hilliard for Reed City and Austin Lenon for TC, continued to make clutch saves in the second half. Jared Pell scored for Tri County early in the half for a 3-2 lead. The Coyotes were able to tie it later in the half when Justin Stellini scored off a loose ball in front of the net.

It appeared the game was headed to overtime. With 2:48 left in regulation, Hilliard made a clutch save in front but was hit in the face by the ball and had to leave the game in favor of Corbin White. With less than a minute to play, Jared Pell took a  free kick and shot it over White’s head for the winning goal.

“It was a tough one,” Hilliard said. “That was our best game of the year. We played our hearts out. It’s the game of soccer. We’ll get it next year. We built all year to this point. I think we played phenomenal.”

“It was our best game yet,” first-year coach Courtney Murphy said. “We had a tough no-call at the end which let them get a free kick. It was a very key call. It definitely changed the game.”

Now it’s time to look ahead.

“We had no seniors this year, so we’ll come back and hope to be even stronger,” Murphy said.