Rams hand Chieftains first loss

Published 11:49 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dowagiac’s Craig Zebell (7) scored the lone goal for the Chieftains in a 9-1 Wolverine Conference loss to South Haven Wednesday night. (The Daily News/Kelly Sweeney)

After a tedious contest against Lake Michigan Catholic on Tuesday, which ended at four goals apiece, the Dowagiac soccer team showed little resistance to the fancy footwork of South Haven a day later as the visiting Rams mercifully triumphed by a 9-1 outcome ending with the starting opposing goalie scoring with 1:32 remaining on the clock.

“We got thrown into the fire and beat up pretty good as this young team had a hard game last night,” noted Dowagiac coach Mike Williams. “South Haven is loaded and their subs are no different as they showed us what we have to get up to.”

South Haven (4-1, 1-0) and Dowagiac (3-1-1, 0-1) started Wolverine Conference play after notching victories in the non-conference against formidable foes, but the Rams aggressively came out against the weary Chiefs to take control of the game.

“Dowagiac has some young talent and will learn a lot this year to become better,” said South Haven coach Benno Trenkle.  “This team is hiding in the bushes, but is the best possession team in my 10 years coaching here.”

Dowagiac’s Leo Ramirez (14) tries to gain control of the ball against South Haven Wednesday afternoon. (The Daily News/Kelly Sweeney)

One young Ram kicking his way to stardom is sophomore Tony Canonie, who registered a quartet of goals to go along with a pair of assists after being the second leading scorer as a freshman last year.

“He (Canonie) is a fine athlete as he also started as the point guard in basketball as a freshman,” explained Trenkle.  “There was nothing I didn’t like about this game.”

Dowagiac senior Craig Zebell was the only Chieftain to get a shot past junior Christian Davis, when his penalty kick went hard to the left of the netminder to narrow a 2-0 deficit after just over 15 minutes of play.

Canonie scored the next two goals and the Rams added another for a 5-1 advantage at intermission. Dowagiac was out shot by a 15-2 margin with junior Paul Lamphere making a trio of saves.

“We had three starters out for various reasons and so we tried some new things that worked for awhile,”  said Williams. “We wanted to slow them down, but made too many switching mistakes.”

It was a much better second half for the Chiefs as they had seven shots, but Canonie had a couple nice goals and Davis moved from the net area to punch in the game finisher as it just barely rolled across the line after bouncing off many bodies.

“We have a lot of fun as the team really works hard and likes each other, which shows how they pass so well together and we never had more finishers than this,” said Trenkle, with the only defeat coming to powerful Portage Northern by a slim 3-2 score.

The Rams finished with 27 shots compared to nine for Dowagiac, but the Chiefs had three corner kicks in sequence near the end of the game as they continued to march on regardless of the score.

“This team will not be getting beat like this again and should finish fourth or fifth in a tough conference,” said Williams.

South Haven…9


Halftime score

South Haven 5, Dowagiac 1

First Half

SH – Travis Stricklin eighth minute Tony Canonie assist

SH – Ryan Dorow 15th minute Chad Dotson assist

D – Craig Zebell 16th minute

SH – Canonie 28th minute Bradley Holtzman assist

SH – Canonie 34th minute Zach Nelson assist

SH – Kyle Fitton 36th minute Andrew Lewis assist

Shots: Dowagiac 2, South Haven 15

Saves: Paul Lamphere (D) 3, Christian Davis (SH) 0

Corner kicks: Dowagiac 0, South Haven 8

Second Half

SH – Dotson 46th minute Canonie assist

SH – Canonie 44th minute Dotson assist

SH – Canonie 62nd minute

SH – Davis 79th minute Holtzman assist

Shots: Dowagiac 7 (9), South Haven 12 (27)

Saves: Lamphere 5 (8), Davis 2 (2) and Ryker Diekema 0

Corner kicks: Dowagiac 3 (3), South Haven 0 (8)


South Haven 4-1, 1-0 Wolverine; Dowagiac 3-1-1, 0-1 Wolverine