Edwardsburg ropes RangersPublished 9:10am Friday, October 2, 2009
By DON EDEN
Dowagiac Daily News
EDWARDSBURG – Achieving a shutout is worthy, but blanking an entire conference is wonderful, which was accomplished by the Edwardsburg soccer team Thursday after the hosts walloped Lakeland Conference Cassopolis 6-0 on senior day.
All nine 12th graders started for the Eddies with Chris Hotrum scoring a pair of goals and classmate Daniel Holston also denting the net.
“Accomplishing shutouts all year in the conference is unbelievable and I don’t want it to end anytime soon,” stated Holston. “This year was a dream year for us, because we play so well together and the team chemistry is so great since we have been playing together as little kids.”
Edwardsburg (11-2, 6-0) was also very consistent with three goals in each half and equaled shots with 21 apiece. The Rangers only scoring attempt came on a header by sophomore Blaise Suseland just before intermission.
“This is a great achievement for a team to shutout an entire conference as this is probably the deepest team that I’ve had without skipping a beat subbing at certain positions, which is a nice luxury to have,” noted Edwardsburg coach Ryan Rosenkranz. “We spread out very good to give us opportunities with dangerous balls to score.”
Hotrum broke the scoreless tie with 30:43 showing on the scoreboard as he retrieved a rebound after a nice save by Cassopolis junior John Simpson in goal. Simpson saved a dozen shots in the first half alone with his quick reaction and good positioning to salvage the score from soaring.
“John (Simpson) was fantastic and has really turned it on lately, but this is a very young team that is still in transition,” observed Oli Olafsson, the Cassopolis coach. “We love the game and school so every time we play that we expect to win for the Rangers with a positive attitude, but we seem to play better against better teams like Edwardsburg, who is fantastic.”
Juniors Andy Boyles and Climente Martinez each scored a goal for the seniors with sophomore Max Habicht breaking open the one goal advantage midway through the first half. Acquiring assists for the victors were senior Zak Karamalegos, junior Luke Rohrman and Martinez.
“This is the first year since I’ve been here a freshman wasn’t needed to help the team, but we have 15 (frosh) on the JV team who are good athletes,” remarked Rosenkranz.
Olafsson is also looking into the future as only one senior – his son Agust – has played much and over half his starting lineup are sophomores.
“My son (Agust Olafsson) has done great with leadership and I am sad to lose him as he helped us improve with so many of these kids being first year players,” said Olafsson. “Give us another two years with the help of indoor and youth soccer we should compete a lot better then.”
Next week the Eddies will host the conference tournament to try to duplicate their regular season success.
“We would like to finish the conference tournament right and then play well in the District after moving up to face possibly ranked teams in Lakeshore and Sturgis,” commented Rosenkranz.