Reed City soccer tops Manistee

REED CITY — Reed City coach Dave Mix and Manistee coach Rudy Guillen both see their soccer teams heading in a positive direction as the season winds down.

Mix’s Coyotes get the best of the Chippewas, however, in a 6-2 win on Monday. Reed City got two goals and an assist from Eric Reed to improve to 9-7-1 heading into its regular season finale on Thursday against state-ranked Traverse City Christian.

Mix said consistency will be the key if the Coyotes are going to make a run in the postseason.

“We’re playing some of our better soccer right now, it’s just a matter of maintaining that level of play for 80 minutes,” he said. “That’ll be the challenge.”

The first half saw the teams go back and forth, countering each other’s goals.

The Coyotes would score first on a throw-in by Reed, which was perfectly positioned for forward Matt Kienitz, who provided a header to beat Manistee’s Brian Fisk with 35:23 remaining in the first half.

Reed City would use Reed’s abilities on both throw-ins and corner kicks throughout the evening to set up scoring opportunities.

“It’s a simple thing but it works for us,” Reed said of the throw-ins. “(Kienitz) has done a phenomenal job all year of positioning himself and making plays.”

Manistee would answer with a goal by Allen Wandrych off a corner kick with 22:55 remaining in the half.

The lead wouldn’t last long, when Reed City’s Ricky Droke beat Fisk to a loose ball, skipping around defenders to put a shot in the back of the net just 10 seconds later.

The Chippewas added another goal on a corner kick with 15:41 left in the half to tie the game at 2-2.

Reed City would get momentum back late in the half on Reed’s first goal of the evening, with 8:36 left in the half.

The Coyotes wouldn’t look back in the second half, adding three more goals, including Reed’s second of the evening with 31:21 remaining.

Mix said his team’s ability to pull away in the second half was the result of making Manistee defend the entire field.

“We were trying to play them wide and force the defense to play side-to-side,” he said. “That allowed us to do some of the through-balls and make runs consistently.”

The Coyotes added a pair of goals late on a Trevor Nelson bullet that beat Fisk on the right side. Evan Seay would conclude the scoring as the recipient of a header from Jerry Dailey with 1:26 remaining.

Reed City lost 1-0 to Big Rapids on Oct. 4 in BR. Ricky Droke was stopped for Reed City on a scoring chance with 31 minutes left in the second half by BR goalie Kyle Carter.

Reed scored for the Coyotes in a 4-1 loss to Clare on Oct. 5. On Thursday, the Coyotes fell 5-0 to Cadillac.

Houghton Lake avenges loss PR

When Houghton Lake played Pine River in Northern Michigan Soccer Conference action earlier this season, the Bobcats prevailed 8-0.

It was a different story Thursday, although Houghton Lake took home a 1-0 victory.

Matt Muirhead scored with 30 minutes left in the second half, assisted by Billy Trahan for the only goal of the game. Adam Frey had 12 saves as goalkeeper for Houghton Lake while Josh Ecker had 14 for the Bucks.

“For having only 12 players and just 11 for awhile, I thought we played pretty well. (Pine River) is vastly improved, I was impressed,” said Houghton Lake coach Scott Bockelman. “It’s hard to go without subs, especially how hot it was.”

Houghton Lake, 4-8 in the conference had a 15-10 advantage in shots.

“The first game we played against them, we were really flat,” said Pine River coach Eric Gebhard. “It was on our home field and one of the last home games for our seniors. We almost pulled it off.”

“I thought it was a very strong game,” said Pine River junior Cuyler Huffman. “To have it 1-0, I thought we came together as a team and played well. Our defense played stronger (compared to the first time the two teams met), we worked the ball up the field, communicated better and had a lot better passes.”

Late in the game, the Bucks fired some solid shots on net.

“Their goalie is really an elite one. He gets really high and doesn’t let anything go through his hands,” Gebhard said.