Matt Brower works his way down the field. Matt has helped control the midfield this season for the Rams. ~ Photo by Pat Dalton
The Rockford boys soccer team had an up-and-down week that ultimately kept them within striking distance of the top of the OK Red Conference with five games to play.
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, the Rams hosted undefeated Caledonia in front of a large Youth Night crowd. Keeper Jack Hansen set the tone for the game, with an early diving save to his left that instantly ignited the crowd. The game was a high intensity, physical, back-and-forth that saw both teams have numerous scoring chances before junior Adam Goushaw neatly tucked in a far post, left-footed shot to put the Rams on top before the half 1-0.
The second half started the same as the first ended with a fast, physical pace. After barely missing from the same spot about six minutes earlier, senior captain Trevor Durfee beat the Caledonia keeper over his head on a 40-yard free kick to put the Rams up 2-0. Caledonia struck back with about 10 minutes to go in one of the few defensive breakdowns of the Rams defense all season, but couldn’t reel the Rams in. The 2-1 win put the Rams in a tie with Caledonia halfway through conference play.
“Caledonia was coached extremely well. We were fortunate to get the win,” said head coach Stu Quackenbush after the game.
“Matt Brower dominated the midfield and we won a lot of 50/50 balls,” added assistant coach Trevor Hunt.
Thursday, Sept. 20, the Rams traveled to Grand Haven and were met with a boisterous home crowd right from the start. Trevor Durfee again scored for the Rams, but after a physical back-and-forth 75 minutes Grand Haven went ahead for good holding onto the late pressure of the Rams to win 2-1.
The Rams still control their own destiny with five games remaining in the hunt for a conference championship. On Thursday Sept. 27, the Rams honor their seniors on Senior Night at Rams Stadium, when they host the Hudsonville Eagles. All seniors attending the game will get in for free.
Ben Joseff passes the ball down-field. ~ Photo by Pat Dalton