Allegan’s Annika Hansen (left) and Otsego’s Erica Drobny chase down the ball during the Tigers’ 2-1 victory. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Allegan prevails over Otsego in battle of league unbeatens

Jason Wesseldyk

You’d expect a game between the two ties tied atop the Wolverine Conference girls’ soccer standings to be a close one.
And a close game is exactly what fans witnessed when Allegan traveled to Otsego on Monday, May 15.
With the game deadlocked at 1-1 at halftime, the Tigers scored what proved to be the winning goal early in the second half as BrookAnn Hitchcock beat Bulldog goalie Ambreanna Powell as Allegan claimed the 2-1 victory.
The win kept Allegan unbeaten in the Wolverine Conference at 6-0 with three matches remaining. Otsego slipped to 6-1 in league play with two conference games left on its schedule.
Bulldog coach Levi Butcher credited the Tigers for coming into the game with a solid game plan … and for taking Otsego out of its plan.
“The bottom line was Allegan played fast and physical and was able to impose their will on the game,” Butcher said. “The match was played in their style, with their tempo, and we weren’t able to effectively execute our game plan.”
Despite the outcome, the game started well enough for the Bulldogs as the first big break went their way.
Midway through the opening half, Allegan was called for a foul as the referees ruled Otsego senior Erica Drobny was taken down in the box, giving the Bulldogs a penalty kick.
Butcher elected to have Gracie VerHage take the penalty shot and she rewarded his confidence in her by finding the back of the net to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long, however. About seven minutes, to be more specific.
Off a cross from Joy Hunziker, Mackenzie Burmeister headed the ball into the goal to even the score at 1-1.
That’s where the score remained until Hitchcock’s goal gave the Tigers the 2-1 lead.
Hunziker picked up the assist on that goal as well following a direct free kick.
“The difference in the game was (Allegan’s) ability to capitalize on their chances,” Butcher said. “We created more shots than they did, particularly in the second half, but couldn’t put them home when we needed to.”
Kara Bishop made nine saves in goal for Allegan, with Powell stopping eight shots for the Bulldogs.


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