2018-04-19 / Sports

Blue Devils, Ramblers breeze past North Bay

Shorthanded squad opens season with pair of 8-goal home losses


NORTH BAY girls had a clear pitch to play on last week — but it didn’t stay that way for long, as evidenced by this Wednesday-morning photo. The three-school co-op has already canceled seven matches this spring due to subpar playing conditions. NORTH BAY girls had a clear pitch to play on last week — but it didn’t stay that way for long, as evidenced by this Wednesday-morning photo. The three-school co-op has already canceled seven matches this spring due to subpar playing conditions. To coach Tom Spencer, the North Bay girls are ahead of schedule.

“We got two soccer games in and 22 kids played,” Spencer said. “We’re way ahead of everyone in terms of development. Now we have to react to what happened — not overreact.”

Spencer, who shoveled the Suttons Bay pitch with assistant Tony Mosqueda at 7 a.m. last Wednesday, didn’t exactly get the results he had been hoping for in the preseason.

Gaylord handed North Bay a 9-1 loss before Boyne City left Leelanau County with an 8-0 win the next day.

“Not the way you want to start your season,” Spencer said. “I wasn’t thrilled to start with Gaylord, but, in a way, I was. I treated it as a scrimmage. Unfortunately, they didn’t. They poured it on.

“I could have played to avoid a mercy, but what’s the point?”

With three defensive standouts out of the lineup, North Bay had its hands full against the Division 2 opponent.

Spencer opted to place Sydney Deadman in goal, but Gaylord dominated play and peppered the standout junior with 14 first-half shots. Down 3-0, Spencer subbed Deadman out.

She later assisted on North Bay’s first tally of the season, which came courtesy of sophomore Paige Kohler and made it a 5-1 game.

The dynamic duo of Deadman and Kohler produced 41 goals and 15 assists last season, but it failed to find twine the next day.

That’s a credit to an up-and-coming Boyne City program, Spencer said.

“They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with,” he said.

The 0-2 start isn’t ideal, but at least North Bay had a chance to compete.

In fact, it’s the only team from a Leelanau County high school to do so this spring.

“We’re a lot better than 9-1 and 8-0,” Spencer said. “I could’ve kept the games competitive but I chose not to. To be honest, I hope people think we’re not very good. We’re fine with that.”

North Bay was slated to play at Kingsley today but, despite Spencer’s offer to play in the snow, the contest was called off. Next up on the schedule is a league matchup with visiting Benzie on Monday, weather pending.

Return to top