Rockies drop NLC contest with Northridge, 5-1

PLYMOUTH — A penalty kick on a controversial call left Plymouth down two goals and chasing visiting Northridge, and the Rockies lost an eventual 5-1 Northern Lakes Conference decision to the Raiders at Kindt Soccerplex Saturday.
Plymouth went into the half trailing 1-0 after Steven Hooley scored on a Cameron Miller assist in the game’s 15th minute, but it was Miller’s pk in the 43rd minute that put Plymouth into press mode, and Northridge capitalized with two more goals during an eight-minute span between the game’s 50th and 58th minutes to put the game out of reach.
“We went into halftime, and it was a 1-0 game,” said Plymouth Head Boys Soccer Coach Josh Martin. “They had had a majority of the possession in the first half, but we had a couple decent opportunities around their box. We came out and we were playing hard in the second half, but that PK really took the wind out of our sails. I never really like mentioning anything about the referees, but I thought it was a pretty questionable call. So then we go down 2-0, and that always forces your kids to look at the game in a little bit different way. I think we started chasing the game a little bit, got a little desperation going, and I think we got a little impatient defensively, started poking and stabbing.”
The Rockies finally broke onto the scoreboard in the 70th minute as midfielder Maynor Galeano hooked up with Kyle VanLue for a left-footed goal from in close to cut the Raiders’ lead to 4-1 in the junior back’s debut at forward.
“VanLue actually did a really great job because one of the Northridge guys was grabbing his jersey and his shorts in the box, and he fought that kid off and slipped a little shot with the outside of his left foot underneath the keeper and had a really nice finish,” said Martin. “We’ve been wanting to try him up top for a lot of the season, but we just felt like we couldn’t lose the speed in the back because we felt like we were already giving up enough goals… but today we got three goals down so why not take a risk like that? It paid off.”
Northridge broke through for another goal in the game’s 75th minute to bring the scoring margin to its finals as the Raiders outshot Plymouth 15-3 at the game.
Charlie Brown had seven saves in goal and Erik Aguilar had three for Plymouth, which slips to 4-8-3 on the year with an 0-5 NLC mark.
The Rockies return to conference action Tuesday with a game at NorthWood and will finish up their regular season with another NLC contest at Wawasee Thursday before entering the field at the Class 2A Warsaw Sectional next week.
“We have our last two games against NLC opponents. We’re 0-5, and it’d be really nice to pick up these last two games and go 2-5 with a couple victories in there, but both NorthWood and Wawasee are very capable teams,” Martin said.
“We’ve got a tough couple games, and obviously both games are key because we don’t want to end up last in the conference.”
At Plymouth
First half
N — Steven Hooley (Cameron Miller), 15th minute
Second half
N — Miller PK, 43rd minute
N — Ben Mausar, 50th minute
N — Blake Fry, 58th minute
P — Kyle VanLue (Maynor Galeano), 70th minute
N — Draven Hahn, 75th minute
Shots on goal: Northridge 15, Plymouth 3
Saves: Northridge 2 (Connor Hahn), Plymouth 10 (Charlie Brown 7, Erik Aguilar 3)
Corner kicks: Northridge 5, Plymouth 2
Records: Northridge 8-4-2 (4-1 NLC), Plymouth 4-8-3 (0-5)
JV score: Northridge 3, Plymouth 0