The Grand Rapids Community College Men’s Soccer team matched up against Schoolcraft College with vital regular season conference championship implications on the line. Due to a slow start by the Raiders, GRCC lost their first game since early September by a score of 3-2.
Heading into the match, the Raiders were ranked No.12 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II rankings while Schoolcraft is ranked at an impressive No.5 in the rankings.
Similar to last week’s win against Jackson College, GRCC got off to a slow start as Schoolcraft scored two goals within the first six minutes of the game. The first goal was scored by sophomore striker Dante Davidson which was assisted by multiple Ocelot strikers. After a foul by freshman defender Chase Laarman, the Ocelots scored six minutes into the game by penalty kick from sophomore striker Matheus Barbosa.
The Raiders were in a spot they haven’t faced in over a month as they were down two goals. GRCC answered with a few shots on goal, including one by freshman striker Lucas Freriks, but sophomore goalkeeper Brenden Wade made the save.
With about 16 minutes remaining in the half, sophomore striker Gavin Brose received a yellow card for cleating a Raider defender but followed it up with a goal only seconds later to put the Raiders down three goals.
GRCC had a few chances to score before halftime, including a shot from freshman striker Mohamed Tamour that was wide and a shot from freshman winger Reed Kaman that hit the crossbar but was unable to fall in.
GRCC faced its biggest halftime deficit of the season but the score did not tell the whole story of the first half. The Raiders out-shot the Ocelots eight to six while only having two fewer saves.
In the second half, the Raiders switched it up in goal as freshman goalkeeper Daniel Beyer got the nod for the entirety of the game. This move paid off as Beyer had multiple saves only minutes into the half which gave the Raiders’ momentum to start a comeback.
About 20 minutes into the half, GRCC’s freshman striker Elijah Maas received a yellow card for retaliation, and a minute later, Schoolcraft freshman midfielder Abed Swidan received a yellow card for tripping a GRCC player.
The momentum started to shift as Maas gave an impressive pass to Freriks which led to GRCC’s first goal of the game.
About nine minutes later, Tamour had a prime opportunity to score off a penalty kick and capitalized on it as he scored with only 13 minutes left.
The Raiders only had one more opportunity to tie the game up and Tamour took a shot with 43 seconds remaining but it was saved by Wade. Schoolcraft was able to hold on and win by a score of 3-2.
With the loss, GRCC falls to 10-2-1 on the season with a 6-1-1 conference record. The Raiders have three games left, including two conference games. This means the Raiders need Schoolcraft to lose another game in order to win the regular season conference championship.
GRCC looks to bounce back in their next game as they travel to face Muskegon Community College on the road Saturday, Oct. 14 at 3 p.m.