Reed City drops match to Chippewas

BOOTED: Reed City’s Seth Poirot (14) kicks the ball away from a Manistee player during Monday’s boys soccer contest. (Pioner News Network photo/Dylan Savela)
BOOTED: Reed City’s Seth Poirot (14) kicks the ball away from a Manistee player during Monday’s boys soccer contest. (Pioner News Network photo/Dylan Savela)

MANISTEE — Manistee wasted little time ringing its victory bell Monday night at Chippewa Field.

The Chippewas (3-17-1), who were playing their last regular season game, seized one of the final opportunities to do so in a 3-1 win over Reed City. And its tone was a welcome sound to cap a schedule in which wins have been hard to come by.

“I think we were just playing in the moment,” Manistee senior Edward Postma said afterwards. “We’re coming together — it’s the end of the season — and preparing for districts.”

Postma had a goal and an assist in the contest while teammate Cody McShane netted a pair of scores. The win avenged a 5-0 loss to the Coyotes (5-12-1) earlier in the season, and the performance was the most well balanced yet, according to Manistee coach Rudy Guillen.

“Without a doubt, the best game we’ve played all season,” he said. “We talked afterward, and said look, we scored two goals against the wind, we possessed the ball well in a good physical game, which I knew it would be with Reed City.

“They took it to us the first time we played early in the season, but I figured if we could give them a good 80 minutes, it should be a pretty good game.”

Manistee possessed the ball for the majority of the contest, and outshot Reed City 9-6 in the first half, and 15-12 overall.

“I think Rudy’s boys were ready to play,” said Coyotes coach Dave Mix. “They played solid defense and we just couldn’t sustain any type of attacks for any period of time.

“They out-possessed us, out-hustled us, and obviously out-scored us.”

Postma scored the lone goal for either team in the first half by taking a feed from Caleb Brown on an indirect kick, colliding with Reed City goalie Ben Schermerhorn, and punching the ball through to the back of the net at 12:09.

The second half was back and forth, as each team fired six shots at the other, but McShane was able to break through twice.

At 25:13, he gave his team a 2-0 lead as Postma assisted him with a pretty pass during a Manistee breakaway.

Reed City was quick to respond, taking advantage of the Chippewas’ breakdown while trying to clear the ball, as Ricky Droke scored unassisted at 21:39 to cut the deficit in half.

Manistee senior Justin Peck lived up to his class status on senior night in a rare appearance in net. The goalie made 11 saves, some of which were stops against hard struck point-blank shots.

“Justin did a real fine job in goal,” Guillen said. “He’s been chomping at the bit all season to play back there, and being a senior, I thought (Monday) would be a good night to let him take that shot and he did a great job.”

McShane helped seal the victory with his second goal of the night at 14:59. Manistee again was the beneficiary of a break with numbers on its side when Leonardo Petrilli fed McShane.

“There were nice runs that we made, with solid shots on goal,” Guillen said, “and that’s what we’ve been trying to build up to all season. We want to start playing stronger heading into districts and I think this was a good opportunity to do that.”

The contest encompassed brief flares of chippy play, as Manistee’s Juan Nunez received a yellow card in the first half, and Reed City’s Trevor Nelson was issued a red card with 14:18 remaining in the second, after being deemed the aggressor in a shoving match.

“Obviously we try to learn something every time we step out on the pitch,” Mix said. “The boys are going to be challenged with another tough game on Saturday against TC Christian, which is a top-quality team, especially in northern Michigan.

“They’re going to have to get a hold of their mental game as much the physical part of it.”