ROCHESTER HILLS — Todd Heugh openly admits that he doesn’t know what to expect from his Troy Athens boys soccer team this sdason. Perhaps the second-year coach learned a thing or two about his side Tuesday.
The Red Hawks found a way to fight back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to topple host Adams, 3-2, in an OAA Red Division boys soccer league contest Tuesday.
“I still don’t know what to expect from this team,” offered Heugh. “We lost eight starters (to graduation) and we look good in stretches and not so good in stretches.”
Athens looked uninterested at times in the first half against the Highlanders. Over the final 33 minutes, the Red Hawks (3-1-0, 1-0-0) looked like a team wanting to upend one of its chief rivals.
Max Klitzke scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 77th minute, for Athens, which won its third straight.
Chris Serwatka served a free kick into the penalty box over to Bryan Lawson, who flicked the ball over to an on-rushing Klitzke. A senior forward, Klitzke tucked in a short-range goal with 2:27 left for his fourth goal of the season.
“I don’t know what to expect for many reasons,” said Heugh. “First, we lost a lot of good players and we are slowly starting to come together. But we’ve beat some really good programs like (Clinton Township) Chippewa Valley, Livonia Stevenson and now Adams. And I don’t think anyone knows how this year is going to play out because so many kids left for the Academy teams.”
Adams, meanwhile, lost for the third time in four games, starting the season a rare 1-3-0 and giving up eight goals in those four contests.
“I told them the same thing after we lost to Clarkston 3-2 last week. We can’t give up three goals in a game,” said Adams coach Josh Hickey. “It might be a little bit of consistency, but we have good players. We just made a few too many mistakes in the second half and it cost us.”
Adams scored first with 22:03 left in the first half. Bryan Kane beat his mark in the right corner and floated a long cross to the far post, where a wide-open Josh Kidder calmly tucked in his scoring opportunity.
Adams outshot Athens 4-2 in the first half and only allowed Athens one quality scoring chance during the first 40 minutes.
In the second half, Athens mounted a comeback when Lawson retrieved a feed from Klitzke in the corner and rifled a shot into the net from 18 yards out with 33:01 left in the contest.
The Red Hawks took its first lead with 28:46 to play, when Klitzke collected a through pass from Abhi Appukutty just inside midfield and Klitzked raced past the entire Adams defense before depositing a breakaway into the back of the net.
The Red Hawks couldn’t maintain the lead, as Adams tied the game at 2-2 with 27:41 left when Jacob Cvengros was on the end of a long throw in from Ted Hurst and he banged home a shot from 10 yards out.
“I know we have a lot to work on. it’s nice to see us come back this way,” said Heugh. “We didn’t show much in the first half against Adams.”
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