by KURT BECKER
The biggest game of the year for the Rams junior varsity soccer team was the Thursday night East Kentwood game on Oct. 1. This game was huge because Rams JV Coach Stu Quackenbush was an assistant varsity coach at East Kentwood last year, and he wanted to start out the new relationship with a win. Plus, the Falcons’ JV team had the same win-loss record as the Rams’ JV squad. These two items set the tone for this match-up.
The game was a defensive battle with neither team making their mark on the other. In the first half, the Rams had four shots on goal versus the Falcons’ eight. Jessie Aronoff had two shots, and Michael Becker, Connor Doud and Ian Stankus each had one shot on goal. At half the score was 0-0.
Both teams came out in the second half and tried to get something going. Aronoff, Becker, Doud, Stankus and Nick Krampe all had shots on goal without any success. The Falcons resisted, and pressed with nine more shots in the second half. Neither team could get through the other’s defense. The final score was 0-0.
On Monday, Oct. 5, the Rams played the Grandville Bulldogs at their home field. The Rams came out shooting and had eight shots in the first half. Eleven minutes into the half, Aronoff had a long run through two defenders and rifled a quick bullet past an out-of-position goalie into the back of the net. Stankus had four shots on goal in the first half.
Stankus came out in the second half and wouldn’t be denied a goal. At 12 minutes into the second half, with an assist from Doud, Stankus scored by whipping one by the Bulldogs’ goalie at close range. Conner Taylor, Doud, Becker, Krampe and Austin Crowell all had shots on goal in the second half, keeping their goalie extremely busy. The final score was Rams 2, Bulldogs 0.
This ended the regular season with a fine record of 11 wins, one loss and two ties for the JV Rams.
The post-season district schedule pitted the Rams against the Hudsonville Eagles in the first round at Rams Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 8. The Eagles proved to be no match to the fire power that the Rams showed up with. In the first half, the Rams shot 14 times against the Eagles. At six minutes into the game, Aronoff scored on a breakaway through a defender and past the goalie. At 14 minutes, Stankus was fouled in the goalie box and shot a penalty kick past the Eagles’ goalie. Then at the 32-minute mark, Stankus took a pass from Zak Hermann and tipped it into the net for another goal.
In the second half, the Rams kept up the pressure with another 20 shots. With two minutes elapsed in the half, Aronoff pulled the trigger on another bullet off the goalie’s hands for another score. Then with 27 minutes elapsed off the clock, Ben Przybylski took a long cross from Aronoff and scored for the final score in the game. The final score was Rams 5, Eagles 0.