Chieftains blow out Comets

Published 11:06 pm Monday, October 17, 2011

Dowagiac’s Hazen McMeeken rips a shot against Coloma in the Division 3 District Soccer Tournament opening round Monday. The Chieftains defeated visiting Coloma 8-3. McMeeken had a hat trick for the Dowagiac. (The Daily News/Ron Harner)

A Division 3 soccer match-up Monday proved to be the tale of two halves as Coloma senior goalie Tyler Hester and Dowagiac’s junior stopper Paul Lamphere matched leaps and dives to knock away shots with Chief senior Craig Zebell being the only shooter to dent the net in the first half.

It was a scoring barrage in the second half as the hosts scored a touchdown and extra point to a field goal for the Comets as Dowagiac moved on to play South Haven at home on Wednesday by winning by an 8-3 margin.

“Our keeper (Hester) had a great game, especially in the first half,” said Coloma coach Nate Kahne. “We certainly did have our chances in the first half and unfortunately couldn’t get the lead, which would have been very important.”

Lamphere pitched a shut out in the first 40 minutes on eight Coloma shots, but Hester faced twice as many bullets from the Chiefs and with 9:15 before intermission junior Adrian Martinez found Zebell open and the captain found the lower left corner.

“Paul (Lamphere) has really come a long way as a first year keeper, but both goalies did a good job,” noted Dowagiac coach Mike Williams. “Their keeper (Hester) really goes up high, so I told the team at half to keep it low.”

Dowagiac (13-5-2) was without a corner kick in the first half with Coloma (10-10) getting five attempts. Lamphere had a trio of spectacular stops, while Hester knocked seven opportunities away from its destination.

A 30-yard direct kick by senior Hazen McMeeken  went through the protected wall which surprised Hester into a mishandle, which junior Timothy Keene finished before five minutes elapsed in the second half to increase the Dowagiac lead to 2-0.

The Comets answered with a pair of goals as sophomore Matthew Guntz per a perfect cross that senior Christopher Kraklau headed past Lamphere and just over a minute later with 28:07 remaining a corner kick by sophomore Steffen Kolenko was fumbled into the waiting foot of senior Jacob Graffenius.

Dowagiac’s senior stalwarts were not to have the season come to an end as McMeekin (25:07) and Zebell (23:52) each found perfection for another two goal advantage at 4-2, before the former scored the goal of the year.

McMeeken stopped the clock at 15:23 with a 25-yard bicycle kick after an assist from Keene for a 5-2 Chieftain lead.

“It was a perfect pass right to my chest and practice my bicycle kicks all the time and that turned out to be lucky,” mentioned McMeeken. “Craig and I really like to thank our teammates for all they do for us and believe we will give South Haven a really good fight when we play them next.”

Coloma had an amazing 11 corner kicks in the contest and made the score 5-3 with just over 12 minutes left when Kolenko found sophomore Jorge Novaes for a header.

“I was proud how we came back from 2-0 to tie it, but when the scored quick goals we just died, but Dowagiac played well,” stated Kahne. “They have some players that can beat us on one-on-ones.”

Zebell scored the final two goals to give him four for the match after McMeeken achieved a hat trick after a pass from freshman Aubrey Huston.

“Coloma has improved a ton this year and their coach (Kahne) has really done a good job,” said Williams. “Anyone can win as teams come to play when it comes district time.”

Dowagiac had 28 shots with Hester making a dozen stops and the Comets fired 17 times toward Lamphere for four saves with sophomore Nate Stewart playing the final five minutes in between the pipes.

“We are going to miss 11 players as they helped me out being a first year coach,” concluded Kahne. “The future is bright though, because I have confidence in the younger guys.”

Scoring Summary

First Half

D – Craig Zebell 31st minute (Adrian Martinez assist)

Shots: Dowagiac 16, Coloma 8

Saves: Paul Lamphere (D) 3, Tyler Hester (C) 7

Corner kicks: Dowagiac 0, Coloma 5

Second Half

D – Timothy Keene 45th minute

C – Christopher Kraklau 51st minute (Matthew Guntz assist)

C – Jacob Graffenius 52nd minute

D – Hazen McMeeken 55th minute (Leopardo Ramirez assist)

D – Zebell 57th minute

D – McMeeken 65th minute (Keene assist)

C – Jorge Novaes 68th minute (Steffen Kolenko assist)

D – McMeeken 72nd minute (Aubrey Huston assist)

D – Zebell 73rd minute (McMeeken assist)

D – Zebell 80th minute

Shots: Dowagiac 12 (28), Coloma 9 (17)

Saves: Lamphere 1 (4), Hester 5 (12)

Corner kicks: Dowagiac 1 (1), Coloma 6 (11)

Records: Dowagiac 13-5-2, Coloma 10-10