Today’s matinee matchup between Ionia and Lakewood was a real hum-dinger.
Today was a well fought game between two teams that have a history of playing well fought games against each other. Lakewood came out with a plan to disrupt our play and to make it difficult to build up our play. They’ll be happy with the job they did.
We started relatively well with early pressure, earning Ionia a fifth-minute corner. Justin Sarka took the corner kick and floated the ball into Darius Taylor who used his noggin’ to put the ball into the back of the net. 1-0, Ionia. Not too long after that Lakewood scored. 1-1. The half seemed to be puncuated by a lot of disjointed play. We were unable to really combine on plays the way we’d like to and that may have contributed to us taking more risks that led to dead-ends.
The second half began much as the first but as time went on We felt the urgency to move forward and get another. Still early in the second half, Andrew Lopez waas working his way through the 18 yard box when he was brought down in the box. Penalty. Lopez dispatched his penalty with ease and the score was 2-2. It wasn’t much after that when Lakewood tied it up. The remainder of the game saw chances for both sides but late in the end Ionia received another penalty attempt from a Lakewood hand ball. Sarka stepped up and rifled the ball into the post and the ball came right back to him. He settled the ball and slammed it into the net. No goal. The rule is that the ball, after being properly kicked cannot be touched again by the kicker unless another player has touched it. Game ended 2-2.
This will be a game to learn from for sure. The fact that this felt like a loss tells you about the standards that the boys are setting for themselves. This is where we get into the meaty part about what it takes to compete and how to play through adversity, with self discipline, and all the rest. We’ve been slugged in the mug – it’s how we choose to respond that may set the tone for the rest of the season.
Stas at a Glance:
(Sr) Darius Taylor
(Jr) Andrew Lopez
(Sr) Justin Sarka
Skyler Metzger / 7
Ionia shots: 22
Lakewood shots: 18
Next match: Tuesday at Waverly, 6 p.m.