Petoskey takes runner-up in annual hosted soccer invitational

PETOSKEY – The annual Petoskey Soccer Invitational always serves as a pretty good measuring stick for the Petoskey girls’ soccer team.

But, after opening the season at 6-0, earning a Division 2 ranking and some impressive victories already on the year, the Northmen already feel pretty confident they’re a competitive team with just about anyone.

That certainly proved true Saturday during the Petoskey Invite at the Click Road Soccer Complex as well, when Petoskey made it way to the championship match and fell by just a 2-1 score to Grand Blanc.

Petoskey also picked up a 2-0 win over Muskegon Oakridge and a 6-0 victory over Ludington.

“It was a phenomenal day of soccer out at the Click Road Soccer Complex,” Petoskey coach Zach Jonker said. “As a program, we cannot express enough gratitude to the Petoskey Youth Soccer Association for allowing us to use their beautiful facility every spring for this event.

“All of our girls started their soccer career in the City of Petoskey Parks and Rec. program out there and graduated into the PYSA so it is always fun for them to get some high level games at Click. ”

Petoskey's Emma Nicholson (right) heads the ball to keep it away from a Muskegon Oakridge player during the opening match.

Against Grand Blanc, who defeated Dexter by a 2-0 score to advance to the final, Petoskey brought the fight early, which came with a Kate Farley score, assisted off an Anna Dundon corner.

Gland Blanc later converted a penalty kick to tie things at 1-1 at the half. Things later played out back and forth in the second half, up until the Bobcats picked up a breakaway score with seven minutes remaining that did not come answered by Petoskey.

“The kids were bummed about not getting the tournament title, but every girl played a significant role throughout the day and we are a better team moving forward from these games,” said Jonker.

Harbor Springs' Eva Ruddy works with the ball during a match against Grand Blanc Saturday.

In the 2-0 opener against Muskegon Oakridge, Petoskey got a first half score from Hayley Flynn, then it was Flynn again delivering in the second half.

Flynn also scored twice in the 6-0 win over Ludington, then goals also came from Dana Cole, Lauren Cole, Dundon and Haley Dixon, which was Dixon’s first career varsity score.

Also within the tournament, Dexter earned a third place finish with a 1-0 victory over Ludington, then Harbor Springs and Marquette tied in the fifth place match, 3-3. Cedar Springs also defeated Muskegon Oakridge in a 2-1 game for seventh place.

Petoskey keeper Sadie Corey sends the ball down the field after making a save against Oakridge.

Harbor Springs also took a 5-1 loss against Grand Blanc in their opener, then earned a 1-0 shootout victory over Cedar Springs, which came as the fifth shutout this season for the Rams.

The successful day for Petoskey moves them to 8-2-1 overall on the season and they’ll next bring in Alpena on Tuesday, May 10. They’ll also host Cadillac in another Big North Conference meeting on Thursday, May 12.

Harbor Springs (8-5-1) will next host Elk Rapids Monday, then welcome in Cheboygan on Friday, May 13th.

Contact Sports Editor Drew Kochanny at dkochanny@petoskeynews.com. Follow him on Twitter, @DrewKochanny, and Instagram, @drewkochanny

Harbor Springs freshman Juniper Rodham (left) keeps the ball away from a Grand Blanc player during Saturday's match.

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