By Andrew Streitel/Kalamzoo FC
Kalamazoo FC and the Michigan Stars FC battle to a 2-2 draw in a very high intensity match. It
was a hot and humid day but both clubs performed well in the heat scoring two goals apiece.
Kalamazoo FC came out of the gate strong with lots of pressure on the MSFC back line forcing
multiple turnovers. KZFC’s high intensity would pay off early as they scored the opening goal
in just the seventh minute of the game.
Isaiah Nieves whipped in a corner kick that found Carson Brinks, who was able to head the ball
home and give KZFC an early 1-0 advantage. This goal would give KZFC lots of confidence as
they continued to push forward to create many chances in the first half. KZFC was in control
throughout the half until stoppage time came.
“I thought we created chances very well in the first half and defended well until Ruddock went
down and we didn’t adjust,” said Kalamazoo FC head coach Brian Clements. “We gave up a
cheap goal and that kind of changed the game.”
Alex Ruddock would have to be substituted out of the game after a head injury occurred late in
the first half. KZFC was down one of their best defenders when MSFC would capitalize on a
mistake by the defense. After KZFC failed to clear a cross, Steven Juncaj was in the right place
to clean up the mistake and tie the game at 1-1 heading into halftime.
“We just need to focus on the details and be sharper on the ball,” said Clements. “We didn’t
finish our chances and made too many mistakes.”
Michigan Stars FC would score the next goal in the 49 th minute giving them a 2-1 lead early in
the second half. A sloppy turnover by the KZFC defense lead to a one-on-one and Isaac Walker
was unable to make the save. KZFC would respond well after conceding the goal, creating
plenty of goal scoring chances of their own.
“I think we were a little fatigued defensively as guys are putting in a lot of minutes and we made
some mental errors,” said Clements. “When you make two big mistakes that lead to goals, it is
tough to win.”
Nieves would get on the score sheet again in the 56 th minute after his goal tied the game yet
again. David Magallon played a great ball to the back post that found Nieves, who was able to
beat the keeper and score the team’s second goal of the match.
Kalamazoo FC controlled the run of play for the rest of the match but were unable to find the
game-winning goal after creating many chances. The game would end in a 2-2 draw and Nieves
was awarded Man of the Match honors for his assist and goal.
Kalamazoo FC will play two games this upcoming weekend as they travel to face FC Columbus
on Friday, July 5th. KZFC will be back home on Sunday, July 7th when they host Toledo Villa
Photo Credit: Jay Pike