Updated: Dec 6, 2022
The Marysville Vikings had been looking forward to this game all season: a rematch with Port Huron Northern.
The two teams had played each other four weeks ago in the season opener and tied with one goal apiece – and that was the closest any current player on the Marysville boys soccer team had come to beating Northern.
“It's exciting for sure,” senior George Telegadas said. “We've been waiting for this game for so long because we haven't beaten them on varsity, ever.”
Telegadas and his fellow seniors knew this would be their final opportunity to defeat their local rivals, and they managed to do just that after Telegadas and senior Tyler Ross scored back-to-back goals to start the second half.
Telegadas scored first with 35 minutes remaining and after seeing his teammate’s success, Ross said he thought, “I’ve got to get one too.”
Sure enough, not even a minute later Ross found the net, giving the Vikings a 2-0 lead, which would end up being the final score.
“We've been playing off each other for a while,” Ross said. “We’re all friends, our chemistry’s great. Our passing is way better than we've ever had."
“Yeah, our possession is a lot better. We used to just play kick-and-run. But now we play with some strategy,” Telegadas added. “It's just been working out for us lately.”
Head coach Scott Parker said that improved “possession-style soccer” is exactly what has allowed his team's successes so far this fall.
“We catch teams by surprise because they're used to us as being more of a kick-it-through and kick-and-chase type of team,” Parker said. “That's what we talked about at halftime. We needed to get more shots…so we said ‘Look, you know, it's open, we have to build up and take your opportunities.’”
And that was all the Vikings would need to shift the momentum in their favor to secure the win.
Marysville now stands 6-0-3 (3-0-1 MAC-Gold on the season) while Northern falls to 4-4-2 (1-1-1 MAC-Blue). Both coaches said they’ve been pleased with the progress their teams have made since their first meeting in August, but they have plenty more to achieve in the coming month.
"I'm pleased with the progress we've made, but it's disappointing to lose the game when I thought for many stretches we played well," Northern head coach Bryan Becker said. "There's a mental part of the game that we're still working on, and we'll just have to keep grinding through that and staying positive and working together.
“Two mistakes can lose you a game real quick. There was a lot of momentum on their side and we tried to increase the tempo of the game and we got some chances, but it just wasn't easy for us to crack their backline when they dropped everybody,” Becker said. "I just think our best soccer is ahead of us.”
The Huskies will look to further their progress on Monday against L'Anse Creuse North, a fellow MAC-Blue team. The Vikings will face one of their largest tasks in the conference – Madison Heights Lamphere (7-2-1) – on Monday.
"This group worked together all summer long. Their motto is, 'Don't get outworked,' and they have an endless work ethic," Parker said of his team. "They never quit. They just keep battling, play after play after play."