Photos by Zach Zweigle | CatchMark
Fruitport’s boys soccer team is enjoying a season for the ages. The Trojans are unbeaten and climbed to No. 3 in the latest Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association Division 2 rankings.
That’s why, in some respects, Reeths-Puffer’s 1-1 tie with Fruitport on senior night Tuesday at Eric Marcil Field felt like a win for the host Rockets in a hard-fought, physical battle.
“We aren’t here for moral victories, but I am really proud of that tie,” Reeths-Puffer coach Kody Harrell said.
Fruitport’s record moves to 9-0-3 overall, while Reeths-Puffer is 7-5-3. The Trojans are 5-0-1 in the OK Blue Conference, while the Rockets are 3-3-1 in the OK Green.
The evening began with Reeths-Puffer celebrating senior night in a pregame ceremony. After a scoreless first half, it was the Rockets who celebrated first when senior Ashton Carpenter scored on a Liam Smith feed to put the hosts up 1-0.
It didn’t take long for Fruitport to respond. Moments later, the Trojans’ Jackson Rebone netted the equalizer on a Zach Schaefer assist to tie it at 1.
“It was a good, hard-fought OK Conference soccer game,” Fruitport coach Dan Hazekamp said. “I’m proud of my guys for answering the bell after giving one up.”
Despite both teams getting opportunities to score the go-ahead goal, the Rockets’ and Trojans’ defenses held their ground and the squads settled for a tie.
Both teams wrap up the regular season this Thursday. Fruitport hosts Oakridge, while Reeths-Puffer hits the road to take on East Grand Rapids.
Next week, the Trojans and Rockets compete in their respective conference tournaments. They may see each other again soon, however, as they’re both in the district tournament hosted by Reeths-Puffer beginning Oct. 13.
“To be the younger team and lose the lead but still keep that positive mentality, I was proud.” Harrell said.
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