TAWAS CITY – The Tawas Area soccer team played what very well might have been their best game of the season on Monday, Oct. 4. It still wasn’t quite enough for the Braves, however, as they lost at home to longtime rival Oscoda, 1-0, on an evening where the only goal of the match didn’t occur until 49 seconds left to play.
“A hard-fought game, well played by both teams,” head coach Ken Cook said. “We were down (in the offensive end) with an attack and they popped it up, started out-running the defense and a couple defenders jabbed their feet and they went around us and had a one-on-one with the keeper and shooter.”
That shooter was Oscoda senior Michael Wrona, who netted the goal thanks to a long pass by Chris Cummings.
It was a long cry from the two’s previous meeting, what was a 7-1 Oscoda victory back on Sept. 15; though in Tawas’ defense it was missing several players due to quarantine in that contest.
“I made some changes to the line-up to where people were playing and I think it was helpful, made us more competitive,” Cook said. “The last game we played them, it was hard for the guys mentally to overcome losing 7-1, but we kept telling them we were down six-or-seven guys, so you can’t get defeated before you even get in the game.”
The Braves were out-shot 12-to-7 in the contest, but their goalie Gavin Spencer had several big-time saves to keep his squad in the contest.
“Gavin played a real good game,” Cook said. “We’ve tried to talk about being aggressive and coming out and grabbing them and not waiting for the defense to do the job, but come get them and he seemed to be doing that well and he was also jumping in the air and getting some balls. He was pumped for this, that psyche is a big part of the game.”
On Thursday, Tawas lost a game at John Glenn, 6-3.
“This game was just the opposite of (the Oscoda game),” Cook said. “(Against Oscoda) we played with passion and energy. Except for the last 15 minutes, this was an off night. There were a couple players who really stood out, Vinnie Frank stepped up when we moved him to forward and Max Buyssens played great at midfield.”
Frank had all three goals in the game, Jake Look had two assists and Ethan Hedglin added one assist. Spencer was in goal and made 10 saves.
Tawas (6-11 overall) finished up the regular season at Birch Run on Monday. The Braves open up Division 3 district tournament play today (Wednesday) at tournament host Standish-Sterling. The semi-finals will be played on Tuesday, with the district championship set to be played on Thursday, Oct. 21. Ogemaw Heights, Gladwin, Clare and Pinconning are also in the district.