Stars beat top team in conference
The Michigan Stars pulled out a big 2-1 win over AFC Ann Arbor at Hollway Field, putting themselves just one point shy of first place in the Great Lakes West Conference.
“Some good old-fashioned hard work got it done,” stated Stars assistant coach Paul Doroh after Friday night’s win.
That hard work was on display by the entire Stars team to not only keep pressure on AFC Ann Arbor Mighty Oak’s backline but to also maintain a secure one themselves throughout the match. After falling behind a goal early on, the first shot on goal struck gold in the 24th minute when Michigan Stars’ Connor Rutz took a loose ball in the box and set it up towards the net to Dalton Amez, who back-heeled it in past the Mighty Oak’s keeper.
Continuous back and forth and the drive to win was seen on the field by both teams throughout the game with a tie game being the result at the half. The Stars took the field in the second half as confident as ever and in the 86th minute, former Oakland University midfielder Shawn Claud Lawson would come through big for his team when his strike found the back of the net to gain the coveted lead in the game.
“Shawn had a fantastic goal today and I couldn’t be more happy with what he has done,” stated Stars head coach Andy Wagstaff.
However, Lawson, being the humble yet lethal player that he is, stated, “It was a good performance form the team and we had a full 90 minute effort from everyone and are happy to get the win today.”
Coach Wagstaff was very proud of his team.
“Everyone weighed in with a fantastic performance and the resilience that we showed especially late in the game was phenomenal. We worked really hard this week to prepare the team for arguably one of the best teams in the nation. They are fourth in the nation right now and at the top of the league with ten points. So we have closed the gap to a point now. I’m really proud of the boys. Assistant coach Paul Doroh has done a phenomenal job on getting the back line organized this week and just really proud of everyone, the staff, and the players on this big win.”
Doroh went on to talk about the team’s preparation for the match.
“We knew coming in that they had some really creative players with a lot of talent and they were going to be really active so we worked on that this week shuffling players around and putting some players in some positions where they were a little uncomfortable but at the end of the game it really paid off. We had to drop down more into a defensive posture but some good old-fashioned hard work got it done. Really proud of the boys and their performance.”
Stars have a week to enjoy the win and prepare to stay at the top of the conference when they travel next Sunday, June 11th to Kalamazoo, who is in the middle of the table but only two points behind.
The next Michigan Stars FC home matchup is on June 17th at 7 pm versus the Dayton Dynamo. Tickets are only $8 in advance and in recognition of club soccer tryout weekend, every kid wearing their club jersey will get in for only $5 at the gate. To purchase tickets in advance, please visit www.MichiganStarsFC.com.