The Saline varsity boys soccer team rebounded from a season opening loss to win two straight games and go 2-1 at the Balconi Tournament at Plymouth-Canton High School Saturday.
Saline threw everything at the net but could score in a 2-0 loss to Detroit Catholic Central in the opening game. The Hornets hit the goal post, put a couple of in-close direct kicks high or wide and got robbed by DCC’s athletic goalie on two occasions.
Saline bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Utica Eisenhower. Brendan Foster scored from Zeke Gray. With 10 minutes left, Gray scored after taking a pass from Drew Doran.
The Hornets finished by defeated Canton 2-1. Gray opened scoring for Saline, with Ryan Nichols assisting. Jack Fenelon scored the game-winner.
Coach Ryan Williams said it was a good opening day for his team.
“We moved the ball well and the kids competed in each game. There's a lot to improve on early in the season, but the kids are very coachable and are working hard to get better every day,” Williams said.
The coaches used the three-game tournament to give lots of kids lots of playing time.
“Kids got looks all over the field and a lot of playing time for everyone. They're doing a good job of learning new positions and asking a lot of questions early. I was happy with how the kids performed and competed on the day,” Williams said.
The Hornets played without senior Anthony Sweier, who was penalized in the Hornets’ playoff loss to Salem last year.
The Hornets are home to Salem for a rematch at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The Michigan Power Rodding 3 Stars
- Sophomore Zeke Gray scored two goals and assisted on another. Gray is quick, aggressive and pretty fearless going into the box against bigger, stronger opponents. Freshman Brayden Stavros was also impressive, as the pair showed us the future of Saline soccer.
- Junior Ryan Nichols is the man in the middle of the attack, although he was slowed after getting kicked in the foot in the second half of the DCC game. Nichols looks poised for a big season.
- Senior captain Jake Caldwell has a hawk defending the Hornet goal Saturday, again going up in the air against taller opponents and winning one-on-ones.