Kalamazoo FC, McIntosh Shine in Final Weekend
The end of the 2017 season came too soon for Kalamazoo FC, but the squad definitely didn't play like the season was coming to a close in their final weekend. Here's a look at their two contests from the weekend.
Saturday vs. Milwaukee Torrent
In the final home match at Mayors Riverfront Park, the Teals welcomed the Torrent for the second meeting of the season. Kalamazoo earned their first win of the season in Milwaukee June 7th with a 3-2 victory.
The momentum would shift late in the first half, following several Torrent fouls. Kalamazoo's own Jay McIntosh would ignite the KzFC crowd with a goal during injury time to tie the game with a Dumisani Manyange assist.
The match would take a physical turn in the second half, as Milwaukee received five yellow cards, two red cards and the head coach's dismissal that carried the Teals to the end. Kalamazoo would earn another goal in the 61st minute, with Manyange's first goal of the season to take a 2-1 lead. McIntosh would tally the assist.
The 2-1 score would be the eventual final on the home finale, drawing several KzFC fans in support of Kalamazoo Strong and the Tyler Smith Scholarship Fund. For the second year, the Teals and Kalamazoo Strong teamed up to raise funds for the scholarship, including a game-worn jersey auction following the game.
Sunday at Lansing United
In the season finale, the Teals looked to sweep the season series with Lansing United, a squad they shut out at home June 18th. The offensive juices continue to flow for Kalamazoo on the road.
It was another offensive display for McIntosh, ending the season with a hat trick. He would score in the 7th, 45th and 56th minute to give KzFC a 3-0 lead. The Hoops would get their lone score from Robinson Moshobane in the 62nd minute to make it 3-1.
Kalamazoo was not done, as Manyange scored his second goal of the weekend in the 70th minute to make it a 4-1 final.
The Teals ended the final month on a high note, finishing 3-1-1 to wrap up their second season. With the final two wins, Kalamazoo finished in fifth in the National Premier Soccer League's Great Lakes Division.
Through the NPSL and two friendly contests, KzFC improved slightly from their inaugural season, finishing 7-6-3 compared to the 6-6-2 record last year. Their 5-6-3 record in the Great Lakes Division still puts them in the middle of the eight-team division.
For individual success, Ade Adeniyi and McIntosh each notched nine goals to lead the squad. With McIntosh's four-goal finale weekend, it doubled his team-high eight goals in NPSL play in his second season with the Teals. Adeniyi scored seven in league play.
Kalamazoo FC is starting to improve on their two seasons and looking for more in 2018. From the team's release, team founder Mike Garrett stated,
“This community has shown that it wants high level soccer in Kalamazoo and for two years in a row has come out to support the team. Most importantly, we’re proud of how we’ve connected with the young soccer players in the area, providing them with live quality soccer and players they can look up to and aspire to. Nothing makes us more happy than all the kids at the end of the game who line up to meet the players and get autographs. It’s fun to think that in a handful of years, some of those kids could be playing NPSL level soccer for their city.”
Check out all the highlights from the final two games here!