Indians tie Pinckney 2-2
Tecumseh coach Jerry Nowak isn’t fretting and possibly for good reason.
His well-established boys soccer program has had winning records in each of the last five seasons and while the Indians (0-3-1) are winless, they have showed progression and promise.
Take Tuesday’s game, when Tecumseh leaped ahead 2-0 against Pinckney at home, marking the first time the Indians scored multiple goals in a match this season. Their Southeastern Conference opener ended in a 2-2 tie.
“We were connecting a lot of passes,” Tecumseh senior Ryan Somsel said of the first half. “Our midfield was playing really well. We were getting balls up to the forwards and getting shots off. Our defense was solid. We didn’t get major balls through our backline.”
Somsel scored both of his team’s goals, in the 16th and 27th minutes. The midfielder dribbled across at the top of the box and booted the ball into the back of the net to put his team ahead. He followed up with a 25-yard free kick to make it a two-goal margin.
The Indians culled four shots on goal in the first half, but one in the second and never gained traction in the final 40 minutes.
After the Indians dropped to 10 players in the 47th minute after a red card, Pinckney capitalized with a 50th-minute goal. Pirates junior Chris Newman knotted the score 2-2 on a sharp-angled shot from just inside the left side of the box in the 68th minute.
“We’ve just got to be tough. We’ve got to go in for those 50-50 balls, 100 percent,” Somsel said. “In our past season, we did extremely well at connecting passes and keeping the ball and we always got good looks up top and that’s what we need this year.”
Tecumseh had two corner kicks, minutes after the score became tied, but got no shot on goal after either. Pinckney (3-2) took a shot on goal in the 78th minute that wasn’t kicked hard, but was a tense moment and goalkeeper Liam Cornish stopped it.
The senior’ fifth save allowed his team to avoid a loss for the first time this year.
Tecumseh has struggled to establish footing with an inexperienced roster and a challenging early schedule.
The Indians were outscored 16-1 in three losses, which were against opponents that have winning records and are coming off winning seasons. Tecumseh brought out a team returning four starters, which Nowak said may be the fewest in his 8-year coaching tenure.
“We’re not as cohesive as we should be and I’m a little disappointed because that’s what the summer league is supposed to be for, to get that stuff worked out,” said Nowak, whose team is coming off a 9-4-1 season. “We haven’t played enough with each other. We are all capable.”
Nowak said he isn’t panicking, focusing on making things fun with his team’s psyche in mind.
“Today, we played with more determination than we did the first three games for sure,” Nowak said. “Guys started challenging harder for loose balls, 50-50 balls. So from that perspective, we took a step today in the right direction.”
NOTE: The Tecumseh Herald was unable to report Tecumseh’s score in Wednesday’s game against Adrian because it happened after press time.