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Kickers shut down Holly, fall to Athens

Brandon Reynolds heads into Holly's turf during the first half of the game. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
September 25, 2013 - The Wolves finished last week posting a 4-0 shutout against Holly on Thursday.

"Our bench gave us a lift tonight," said Clarkston Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Curtis Payment. "When they went in it was a good lift and that is what a team is about. You have to lift people up. The bench did that."

The boys took six shots on Holly during the first half, sinking one of them with 24:57 left in the half. Senior Jared D'Autremont knocked it in off of an assist from junior Joey DeFinis following a corner kick, 1-0.

The Wolves came out more aggressive in the second half keeping the ball in Holly's territory. Seniors Mitch McCord and Brad Schultz put the pressure on taking shots on the net.

"The first half we were just trying to play everything through," said Payment. "The second half we just tried to possess and it worked."

With 24:38 left in the game senior Mitch Menard with an assist from senior Brandon Reynolds sunk the second goal.

"It was good team work," Payment added.

Senior Ryan Callahan tried to get another shot in two minutes later and found himself blocked.

The boys scored again off a free kick with 12:46 left in the game. Sophomore Alex Komatz sent the ball towards the net and it hit the top bar, sending it back onto the ground. Sophomore Jake Hallberg finished the play sending it into the net for the boys' third goal.

They finished the game with one final score with two minutes left in the game. McCord made a shot on the net and the ball went loose on the goalie after he made the save. Callahan ran into and knocked the ball in.

"Our guys were in the right position," said Payment. "The goalie made a great save. Those goals happened because we started to really move the ball instead of just run it."

The boys lost their game OAA Red against Troy Athens, Sept. 17, 1-0.

"We were flat a little bit," said Payment. "It was a great game but we played 75 minutes. We just did not play 80 minutes to finish that game which has been a little bit of a trend against some of the better teams. We moved the ball around and possessed it but in the finishing area I think we left a lot on the field against Athens. Those guys were pretty organized defensively and it was hard to get in there. We were not putting our shots on net. We have opportunities but we aren't testing the goalies - that is the biggest problem."

The Wolves will have an opportunity this week to come back as they headed to Troy on Tuesday. They host their next three games with Groves on Thursday, Davison on Monday, and Stoney Creek on Tuesday - for their final home game and Senior Night.

"Their attitudes are let's move on, let's get better because of Athens," said Payment. "We have to get back on track league wise. We have seven games left. This is where we need to kick into overdrive and gain momentum. Groves is really good. They have a great coach. They play a 4-5 real tight system. We have to be patient. They are a really tough team to break down."

JV begins at 5:30 p.m., varsity follows.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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