Same rivalry, different result
MICHIGAN CITY — Just 24 hours after La Porte’s girls handed Michigan City a 5-0 drubbing at Kesling Park, the two schools met again roughly 12 miles northwest at Michigan City High School for the Duneland Athletic Conference boys soccer tilt between the Slicers and Wolves.
It was cold, wet and rainy, yet a pleasant night for the host Wolves this time around. Wolves senior Riley Shreve drew a penalty inside of the 18-yard box and then the captain’s right-footed penalty attempt that followed rolled past Slicers goalkeeper Diego Magana to make it 1-0 less than three minutes into the second half. The lone goal held up for the hosts to seal a rivalry split between the two schools.
“It would be nice one of these days to get a comfortable win,” Wolves coach David Harris said with a smile and a sigh of relief. “It seems like every game is a one-goal game or a draw for us this season, so you’re gonna be playing on the brink. It’s La Porte, so you know we’re gonna get up for that game. I’m encouraged by this. We’ve been taking a lot. Our goal today was to not sit back, get on the front foot and making quick decisions when we press them.”
The matchup featured two yellow cards — both to the Wolves — and over 20 combined fouls between the rivals. The action was everywhere throughout much of the evening, including the bleachers. From the players out of the field to the parents supporting both sides, the intensity level didn’t drop from the opening kickoff to the final horn.
“It’s a big game for everybody,” Harris said with a grin. “The parents are always like this, which makes the game even better for the boys.”
After three fouls that included the first of the two bookings for the Wolves inside of the game’s opening 10 minutes, junior midfielder Carlos Segovia rang a free kick from about 25 yards out off the post in what was one of the best scoring chances on the night for the visitors.
Outside of an easy save for sophomore goalkeeper Evan Bush on Slicer captain Kaleb Cooper’s shot from long distance in the 28th minute, much of the possession and potential scoring opportunities belonged to the Wolves through the first 40 minutes.
The late-half momentum for the Wolves carried over into the opening minutes of the second half, as Shreve attempted to play a ball inside of the 18-yard box, but was taken down by Magana and awarded a shot from the spot. Shreve’s right-footed attempt just squeaked past Magana and the Wolves had their breakthrough in the contest.
It was a struggle all night for the Slicers in terms of generating scoring chances and the second half was no different. The Slicers (3-10, 0-6 DAC) didn’t register a shot on target until the 59th minute and only mustered two shots the rest of the night, both coming inside of the final 3:10 of the game.
“It was a physical game,” Slicers coach Pat McCoy said. “We weren’t really able to execute. We need to work on some stuff still. It’s been a rough season. We haven’t scored very many goals. We’re just not very strong on the attack.”
The Wolves (4-5-2, 1-4) hunkered down during both of the Slicers’ shot attempts, provided some nice clearance attempts from their defensive third and were able to come away with the victory over their county rivals, their fourth of the season.
“Our goal is to play quick, simple, dangerous ball,” Harris said. “When you’re playing La Porte, no matter what kind of season either team is having, both teams get up for this game. It’s always a close one.”
Reach Michael Whitlow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (219) 214-4169. Follow him on Twitter @couldbelikemike.