by KURT BECKER
The Rockford junior varsity soccer team traveled to Hastings on Saturday, Aug. 22 to play in the Hastings Invitational. The format of this tournament was to play three games in four hours.
The Rams junior varsity team—with new coach Stu Quackenbush, a former Rockford soccer player and University of Michigan graduate—played their first game against Hamilton High School. The Rams had a tough time putting away Hamilton, but handed them their first defeat. There were 23 shots on goal and one score generated by Ian Stankus, assisted by Connor Doud, 57 minutes into the second half. The final score was 1-0, Rams.
The next game was against Hastings High School’s team on their home field. Rockford didn’t have to play long for their first score by Ben Przybylski with an assist by Nick Krampe. At 11 minutes, Doud scored another goal with an assist by Przybylski. The final goal was scored by Stankus, with an assist by Przybylski. A total of 14 shots on goal were recorded, with the Rams winning again, 3-0.
The final game was against Sparta. After two games with two wins in two hours, the Rams were up for the game. They weren’t disappointed with the first score at three minutes with a left-footed bullet by Stankus, assisted by Przybylski. The next score was at seven minutes into the game by Justin Mohr, assisted by Conner Taylor. The points kept coming. At 12 minutes, Jesse Aronoff powered one by the Sparta goalie. Within two minutes, Aronoff shot and scored again. The fourth goal came after the half at the 33-minute mark by Pat MacGregor with an assist going to Mohr. At 41 minutes Zak Hermann scored a goal with a quick shot past the goalie. The final score: Rockford 6, Sparta 0.
Rockford’s first outing was a success and a great opportunity for the team to work together and gel as a soccer team. The Hastings Invitational was an opportunity to get the team rolling forward and prepare them for the tough Rockford OK Red schedule.
The Rams had their first home game against Lowell on Monday, Aug. 24, and had a tough game against the Red Arrows.
Rockford was scored against in the first half. At the 27-minute mark, Stankus drove a left-footed bullet into the back of the net with an assist from Taylor.
During the second half, both teams played tough. The Arrows scored in the second half and Rockford could not answer. Rockford had 10 shots on goal in the game, but could not put one more in. The match ended handing Rockford JV its first loss of the season, 2-1.
Rockford traveled to Fruitport on Wednesday night, Aug. 26, for their first away game, against the Trojans. The game was give-and-take until 14 minutes in the first half when Przybylski zinged one in with an assist from Hermann. At halftime, the Rams had the lead at 1-0.
In the second half, the Rams wore down the Trojans with 15 shots on goal. At 47 minutes, Michael Becker shot a line drive off the cross bar and the goalie’s head for a score, with the assist going to Hermann. At 54 minutes, Stankus kicked a rebound in and scored the third team point. Rockford beat Fruitport 3-0.
On a cool Saturday morning, Aug. 29, the Rams traveled to Forest Hills Eastern and played the Hawks. With vultures flying overhead, the Hawks scored first blood on a corner kick. The Rams pressed the attack and, at the 20 minute mark, Stankus booted one past the goalie with an assist by Przybylski. The Hawks scored again before the half and left the score at 2-1, Hawks.
In the second half, the Rams pressed their attack and, with 55 minutes into the game, Przybylski scored when he received a corner kick from Taylor. Within a minute, Stankus took on two defenders and the goalie, leaving all of them in his wake and with a soft touch rolling one into the net. Rockford had 11 shots on goal for a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Hawks.
Rockford JV’s record for the season is 2-1-0, and has a 10-day break before their next game.