Tough Home Weekend For Kalamazoo FC
It was a pivotal week for Kalamazoo FC, with an opportunity to stake their claim in the top portion of the National Premier Soccer League's Great Lakes Division standings. With two home games over the weekend, the KzFC fans were out in force as they squared off with two Michigan squads.
Friday vs. Grand Rapids FC
In the second meeting in six days, the Teals hosted the Boys in Blue looking for the season sweep. It comes on the heels of a 1-0 win at Houseman Field July 2nd.
Grand Rapids FC was out for revenge quickly and held off Kalamazoo in a 3-1 match. GRFC received a goal from Greg Timmer in the 19th minute on goalkeeper Wes Mink. Mink came into the game in the sixth minute after Beau Prey went down with a non-contact injury. Timmer would score again in the 35th minute with an assist from Gabe Mateo.
KzFC would get back into the game in the second half, as Ade Adeniyi scored his eighth goal on the season just four minutes in. Tommy Clark would get the assist.
The Teals gave themselves several opportunities in the closing minutes, but would allow the final goal in injury time. GRFC used a long pass from goalkeeper Noah Fazekas to second half sub Alex Mendez, beating Mink on the right side for the final tally.
Sunday vs. Michigan Stars FC
In the second match of the weekend, the Teals looked to earn a win against Michigan Stars FC, a squad they tied 1-1 June 16th in Berkley.
The game almost took a turn for the worst for Kalamazoo, as a shot from just beyond the penalty box hit the right corner post in the first 15 seconds. It set the tone for the rest of the match. A wild scrum in front of the goal landed on the foot of Stars striker Cameron Panley, putting it in for a 1-0 lead.
The Teals evened the match at one in the 32nd minute, thanks Adeniyi's second goal of the weekend (ninth overall) with an assist from Kalamazoo native Jay McIntosh.
Kalamazoo would take command in the second half, as McIntosh scored on a fantastic cross from Adeniyi in the 59th minute and getting an assist from Clark in the 68th minute to take a 3-1 lead.
But like the beer that KzFC has this year (Full 90 Ale), you have to play the full 90 minutes. The Stars would scored in a five-minute span in the final 10 minutes to end the match with a 3-3 draw.
A total of 33 shots were taken between the clubs, but the physical play resulted in 22 total fouls and five yellow cards.
The Week Ahead
Kalamazoo FC is heading into the final weekend of the regular season with an outside chance of finishing high in the Great Lakes Division. Tallying just one point over the weekend with Sunday's draw, the Teals sit in a sixth-place tie with the Stars and just a point behind the fifth place Milwaukee Torrent. With two games remaining, they could finish with an 18 point maximum on the season.
KzFC will be playing on back-to-back days beginning Saturday with their final home game of the season against the Torrent. The Teals earned their first win on the season June 7th in Milwaukee 3-2. Since the first meeting, the Torrent is 2-1-3 with both wins against last-place FC Indiana. Kickoff at Mayors Riverfront Park is at 4pm Saturday, with several great tickets available for the home finale!
The season finale comes Sunday in the Capital City, as they travel to take on Lansing United. KzFC won the home match 3-0 on Father's Day, and it started a five-match losing streak for the Hoops. With two wins over the weekend and two Lansing losses, the Teals could match the Hoops in the standings. Kickoff at East Lansing High School is at 4pm Sunday.
For a complete look at the highlights, just look below!