BY DAN STICKRADT
HOLLY— Mathematically, Holly is still in the Flint Metro League boys soccer race. With a little help, the Bronchos could even steal a slice of the championship pie if the bounces go their way.
Holly made sure it did its part Monday night at the Carl Richter Stadium.
The Bronchos beat visiting Lapeer West in every facet of the game and walked away with a 5-0 FML victory.
Holly is 4-1-2 in conference play with two league games to play but several of the other teams in the league have multiple games still to be played in the final two weeks of the season.
“We have to win out and hopefully if we can get some help. If we do and we get some help from some other teams, there could be a big pile up at the end (of the regular season),” offered Holly coach Mike Steibel. “We still have a chance.”
Holly (6-2-5), which dropped out of the coaches association Division 2 rankings this week down to the honorable mention listing, captured its first-ever FML championship last October in its 22nd season of competitive soccer and enter the week in third place with two league games to go. Several of the other FML opponents have three or four league games left.
Lapeer East leads the way at 4-0-2 and Ortonville Brandon is 3-0-3. Fenton and Linden are still in the picture in a five-team race where ties have been commonplace.
The Bronchos made sure there would be no drama in the contest against seventh-place Lapeer West (1-5-1). Holly scored on three of its first five shots, including what proved to be the game winner just 3:58 into the contest. Joe Budds broke free in the box and deposited the game’s first shot into the back of the net.
Budds struck again exactly 10 minutes later, as his 50 yard free kick into the win swirled around and just under the crossbar for a 2-0 cushion.
Later in the first half, Holly scored two more goals, coming from Eric Micalleff at 22:22 and the other from Allen Bezemek with 2:14 to play before the break.
Holly added a fifth marker in the second half, this time with Blake Ordiway slipping past a pair of defenders and blasting in a shot just inside the far post with 4:51 to play to cap the scoring.
Senior Ryan St. John played the first 40 minutes and made one save and junior Joe Baker came in during the second half for relief, making two stops. It marks the Bronchos’ 10th shutout of the season.
Holly outshot the Panthers 27-4, including 16-3 with shots on frame.
“We still have a chance and I think we have a good enough team (to make along tournament run),” said St. John, who is on course to break multiple single-season goaltending records. “If we can put it all together, there’s no telling how far we can go.”
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