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Kickers reach midpoint of season



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Junior goalie Gregory Thelen intercepts a powerful shot at last Thursday’s game. Photo by J. St. Henry (click for larger version)
September 28, 2011 - By Joe St. Henry

Review Editor

Soccer, like other sports, can be a game of inches.

After a scoreless first half that saw shots from both teams straddle the goal line before being cleared by desperate defenders, the Lake Orion varsity boys soccer team fell to Stoney Creek, 1-0, last Thursday.

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On Saturday, Lake Orion missed the winning goal by inches with only seconds left and had to settle for a comeback 2-2 tie with Holly.

While pleased with the way the Dragons clawed their way back against the Mustangs, Head Coach Matt Paukovits said the team must learn to limit its mistakes that give opponents early goals, something that has plagued Lake Orion this year.

Against Stoney Creek, the Cougars carried much of the play during the first half and scored the winning goal just two minutes into the second half.

Lake Orion goalie Greg Thelen came out of his goal hard and made an initial save, but a Stoney Creek player jumped on rebound just out of his reach to score the only goal of the game. Paukovits said the team played much better during the final 20 minutes and put more pressure on the Cougars defense, but could not find the back of the net.

A couple of "silly penalties" led to Mustang goals put Lake Orion in a 2-0 hole during the second half of the Saturday contest. The Dragons gathered themselves and Rusty Reichenbach and senior captain Jacob Sims tied the game.

"This is a talented team – we just need to play more consistently," Paukovits said. "Our highs are too high and lows too low."

The team has reached about the midpoint of its season with a 6-7-1 record. Paukovits noted only five games have been played at home and he hopes to get a couple more wins in front of friendly crowds, plus get everyone healthy leading up to district play next month.

"We have enough ability and talent to win the district and the regionals are at Lake Orion," the head coach said.

He expects the varsity players to continue to gel over the next couple of weeks and thinks good things could happen if "each player does one more thing on the field that is best for the team."

This week, Lake Orion plays at home against Troy Athens (Tuesday) and Royal Oak (Saturday).

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