BY JAKE LOURIM
UTICA — The 2012 Division 1 state tournament could have started any worse for the Troy soccer team: Utica Eisenhower scored on the Colts in the first 18 seconds of the first game.
“That’s not how you draw it up,” Troy coach Brian Zawislak said.
The Troy soccer season ended Tuesday night with a 5-1 loss to Utica Eisenhower in the district opening round at Swinehart Field.
The Eagles beat Troy 2-1 on Sept. 21, but this time, Ike jumped on the Colts early and never let them back into the contest.
In the first minute, Eisenhower weaved through the defense and launched a quick shot on Troy goalie Ben Holland. Holland stopped that shot, but the ricochet went right to Eisenhower’s Nick Abraham for the easy finish.
“Our guys were a little flat,” Zawislak said. “Maybe it has something to do with coaching and preparation. We just didn’t step up on the first one, and then on the second one, they played a good ball behind and finished.”
Eight minutes later, Eisenhower put another on the board, this time on a corner kick to the far post for Ryan Goike’s header. Goike, a defender, scored three times for the Eagles.
Five minutes later, Troy scored on an own goal from a corner kick. Freshman Mitch Guitar had the service, and the goal was credited to Zac Doepke.
A 2-1 deficit would have been manageable heading into halftime, but Eisenhower took all the momentum back with a goal just before halftime.
“That was a big one at the end of the half,” Zawislak said. “That was really deflating. We encouraged the guys to get a goal back at the beginning of the (second) half and make it a new game. It was the opposite.”
Tyler Armstrong was the culprit with 2:37 left. He struck the ball into the right side of the net on a pass from the right.
“I think they made a little formation change and we tried to counter it,” Van Houten said. “The last goal before half is big momentum for us.”
After that goal, which made it 3-1, it was hard for Troy to get back in. But if that wasn’t enough, Eisenhower also scored just 27 seconds into the second half.
The Eagles sent another ball right down the middle and snuck past the defense for an open finish. Goike scored that goal and the fifth goal only four minutes later on a quick strike.
“He’s a good player,” Zawislak said. “We tried prior to the game talking about limiting his time and space on the ball. When you give him even three yards, he’s going to make you pay for it. He’s just going to combine, and then he’s going to move off the ball.”
As the game went on, Troy got more aggressive but couldn’t manage another goal. Eisenhower went to its backup goalie about halfway through the second period. He made four saves, including a quick one-handed catch on a header from Joey Savoie.
“They seemed like they put an extra player up in the midfield,” Van Houten said. “We countered it by bringing a guy back and helping out.”
Troy finishes the season at 14-6-2. The Colts lose seniors Nieem Alatassi, Danny Berger, Ian Fox, Brandon Riddle, Zac Doepke, John Mancuso, Danny Pikulas, Aaron Faison and Stevie Zacharias.
(Jake Lourim is a senior at Troy High School and a member of the S.H.P. Media Group / www.northoaklandsports.com Student Correspondence Program. He is publisher of website www.troycoltsportsupdate.com and a member of the Troy school newspaper editorial staff. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)