2017-10-12 / Sports

Soccer roundup: No. 3 Comets complete 5-peat

Leland wraps up NWC title, sets sights on deep playoff run after 20-1 season
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor

Cobe Lund recorded his seventh hat trick of the season Monday as No. 3 Leland locked up a fifth straight conference championship with a 5-1 road win over North Bay.

“It’s a humbling figure and it just proves the consistency coming out of the program,” Leland coach Joe Burda said. “But to this team, and in this moment right now, it’s just another step to a bigger goal.”

The Comets (20-1, 9-1 Northwest) have high hopes as they prepare for the District 64 tournament, which starts with a trio of matches on Monday: Glen Lake vs Harbor Light Christian, North Bay vs Elk Rapids, and Burt Lake NMC vs Harbor Springs. Leland, which drew a first-round bye, will play at Burt Lake or Harbor Springs in the semifinals on Wednesday.

Leland will enter the tournament with plenty of confidence — and for good reason. The Comets, who knocked off No. 4 Muskegon Western Michigan Christian 4-2 on its own pitch Friday, have outscored opponents 116-13 this fall.

“I’ve seen them for almost 20 years, and that’s without a doubt the best Leland team I’ve seen,” North Bay coach Tom Spencer said. “It’s the way they play soccer.

“It’s spectacular.”

North Bay (10-4-3, 5-2-2 Northwest) played Leland closer than the scoreboard indicated.

Jesus Calderon scored the only goal in the first, beating North Bay keeper Xavier McKillip from a tricky angle on a right-to-left cross.

North Bay knotted things up at the 27:07 mark of the second half when Brett Dyer rang iron on a free kick, followed his shot and banged the rebound past Garret Miller.

“The first time, I barely got to it,” Miller said of the free kick. “The second time, he was just too quick and our guys didn’t jump on him. He shot it low and fast, just how you want it to be.”

The tie lasted 23 seconds.

Lund sliced through the defense and found the back of the net at the 26:44 mark, completing the hat trick with his 36th and 37th goals of the season down the stretch. Andre Masse also scored for the Comets on an assist from Lund. Nick Saffell finished with two assists.

Dyer, who started the game on the back line, was moved to striker after Lund’s initial tally sent North Bay into desperation mode.

“We had to go for the win,” Spencer said of the decision. “A tie wasn’t in the picture for any consideration. We opened it up, took a lot of chances and left ourselves exposed to a great soccer team. Had they not countered Brett’s beautiful goal, I think we could have stayed with them a lot longer and maybe have been more effective at scoring than we were. However, they did counter — immediately — and forced us to come out with everything but the kitchen sink.”

The Leelanau County rivals, who shared the league title last year, could meet for a third time in the district tournament final, which will be played at Glen Lake on Friday, Oct. 20.

MORE SOCCER

McDonough bros propel Lakers

Peyton McDonough scored a pair of goals, including one from little brother Brady McDonough, as Glen Lake knocked off visiting Kingsley on Monday, 2-1.

“Our defense played great the whole game,” Glen Lake coach Jared Boynton said. “Lots of praise goes out to our defensive unit. They did awesome.”

Christian Barber made 10 stops for the Lakers (3-10-1, 1-8 Northwest), who were slated to close out their regular season at North Bay after press time last night.

North Bay ties TC Christian

Northport homecoming king Brett Dyer scored the lone goal for North Bay Saturday as the team played Traverse City Christian to a 1-1 draw.

Dyer’s tally, his 31st goal of the season, came on a free kick.

“Xavier McKillip had another strong game in net,” North Bay coach Tom Spencer said.

Finally: Comets take down WMC

Cobe Lund scored twice and added an assist Friday as visiting Leland overcame a 2-1 halftime deficit and knocked off Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, 4-2.

“We obviously used it as a measuring stick for regionals, but this was a first for the program,” Leland coach Joe Burda said. “We have taken handfuls of trips to meet them in the regular season and postseason, and this was the first time we got them. We were hearing from players who lost to WMC four and five years ago. This win was for those guys.”

Jesus Calderon and Hank Guest also scored for the Comets; Chris Ursu had an assist. Owen Kareck, Collin Satterwhite and JJ Popp came up big defensively, Burda said.

Dyer nets four at Glen Lake

A five-point performance from Brett Dyer and a trio of assists from Ethan Pino propelled North Bay to a 6-1 win at Glen Lake last Wednesday.

“Playing on the turf was a challenge for us,” North Bay coach Tom Spencer said. “Many of our guys had never played soccer on turf prior. The game was played at a pace that is so much faster than grass. It gave the Lakers quite a home-field advantage, and we struggled with it for awhile. We finally put it together for about 15 minutes in the second half and put the game away.”

Jacob Hester scored the other goal for North Bay; Austin Huck and Ethan Sommerfield added assists. Brady McDonough scored for Glen Lake on an assist from Tyler Robbins.

Comets breeze past Benzie

Leland secured at least a share of the conference championship for a fifth straight season last Wednesday with an 8-0 win over visiting Benzie.

Cobe Lund led the way offensively for the Comets with three goals and three assists. Nick Saffell and Chris Ursu added two goals apiece. Adam Maleski found the back of the net, as well. Garrison Buta-Scott finished with two assists.

“Five straight feels good for the guys, I’m sure, but they have bigger goals,” coach Joe Burda said. They want another shot at the district and regional trophy. That has been the focus all season.”

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