By Andrew Streitel/Kalamazoo FC
Kalamazoo FC hosted back-to-back Great Lakes Conference champions AFC Ann Arbor on
Friday in their second match of the season against the club. Similar to the game at Ann Arbor
this match ended in a 0-0 draw with both clubs earning a point.
It was Special Olympics night in Kalamazoo as KZFC honored participants of the Special
Olympics from the Kalamazoo area. It was a great night with a good atmosphere for an
important match as KZFC hoped to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The first half started with both teams creating chances but the defense from both clubs would get
the best of the attack and stop anything that came their way. Alex Ruddock and the KZFC
defense played extremely well throughout the entire match. Ruddock earned Man of the Match
honors as the team earned their second shutout of the season.
“The defense is starting to form a partnership; they understand each other and aren’t afraid to get
on each other a little bit,” said KZFC head coach Brian Clements. “They have been playing very
well the past few games.”
The game entered halftime scoreless with AFCAA having more of the possession. However,
KZFC continued to work hard and had plenty of chances of their own in the first half but failed
to convert on those chances. KZFC goalkeeper Isaac Walker made some key saves as well in the
first half to keep the game knotted at 0-0.
“Whenever you play Ann Arbor you are going to have to defend a little more,” said Clements.
“We got behind the ball and defended well and created some great chances that we weren’t able
to capitalize on.”
Kalamazoo FC played much better in the second half creating lots of quality chances. The best
chance of the game came in the 53 rd minute when Dalton Michael got out on the breakaway.
However, Ian McGrane would make a great kick save to keep Michael from scoring and keep the
“Ann Arbor plays a lot of guys in the midfield and we were forcing the ball into their center
midfielders,” said Clements. “In the second half we started playing balls into the channels and
found success with that.”
Kalamazoo FC would continue to have the better chances in the second half but failed to find the
back of the net. AFCAA started to push more players forward late in the match as both teams
looked to find the late game winner. The final ten minutes of the game was a hectic one as both
teams opened up looking to score. However, the defense from both clubs would stay strong and
the game would end up in a 0-0 draw.
Kalamazoo FC will be on the road Sunday as they face FC Indiana. The team will be back home
next Friday when they host FC Columbus with kickoff at 7:00 pm.
“We just need to continue to get points in every match,” said Clements. “Everybody in the
league is good and can beat anyone on any given day.”
Photo Credit: Gary Maystead