Pine River soccer team opens season with tie

TOUGH DEFENSE: Larry Kissinger (24) of Pine River soccer goes after the ball against Mason County Eastern. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)
TOUGH DEFENSE: Larry Kissinger (24) of Pine River soccer goes after the ball against Mason County Eastern. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

LEROY – The cry from the Pine River stands said it all Friday night:

“Let’s get those shots lower guys.”

The Bucks, making their season debut under new coach Jenny Hoagland, had an impressive performance Friday night in a 1-1 tie against visiting Mason County Eastern.

But there were some golden opportunities to get the win with shots that went too high for the hosts. Three Pine River shots missed by inches after hitting the crossbar each time.

Jesse Gingrich scored for the Bucks with 38.4 seconds left in the first half.

“The goalie had the ball in his hands but lost control of it,” Gingrich recalled. “I took advantage of it. That (goal) helped a lot. It got us excited.”

But with 33:55 left in the second half, it was a tie game after Birkamal Singh put in a rebound for the Cardinals.

For the rest of the game, the Bucks hit the top of the net on shots from Ethan Crawford, Eric Martin and Gingrich.

MCE, meanwhile, had several corner kicks late in the game that the Cardinals were unable to execute on the Bucks’ net effectively.

“We’re going to work on taking some shots and try to get them so they go just under that crossbar,” Hoaglund said. Pine River had 17 shots against Cardinal keeper Clifford Lawson. Pine River keeper Josh Gostlin had 20 saves for the Bucks.

“I thought we did very good,” Gingrich said. “We’re talking very good. We need more ball control when the ball goes in the air.”

“I think we performed wonderful,” Hoaglund said. “They played well as a team.

They executed a lot of plays that we worked on over the past week.”

Senior Larry Kissinger helped anchor a strong Pine River defense.

“I thought we did phenomenal for our first game,” he said. “We moved the ball. We had a lot of passes and good talk.”

It was MCE’s first game of the season.

“It was very fast-paced for a first game,” said Cardinal coach Dan Hunter. “This was our second ‘practice’ of the year. We have some more practices to go.”

Pine River, which had only few days of practice coming into Friday’s opener, will play at Forest Area on Tuesday.

“We can communicate a little better,” Kissinger said. “I’m sure we’ll work a little more on endurance in practice.”