By Bill Bray
TOLEDO—Usually in the game of soccer a score of 1-0 is indictive of a hard-fought game.
This Division I Sectional semifinal contest between your Fremont Ross Little Giants and the Toledo Whitmer Panthers was no exception.
For the first 40 minutes of action, it was a seesaw back and forth contest. Though the ball was on the Whitmer offensive end much more than on the Fremont Ross turf, it was a continual test for the young Giants defense to battle their way through the first half of action.
Battle they did, as they held the Panthers out of the goal.
“They went out a fought,” a disappointed coach Alex Coressel said after the heartbreaking loss. “Every second, it didn’t matter who I put in, we fought. Whitmer had a whole group of seniors who tried to get through a freshman, two sophomores and a junior and they couldn’t do it.” Coressel continued referring to his defensive players. “We had our opportunities and that’s the style we have to play right now and that is when we get those opportunities, we need to take advantage of them,” Coressel continued. “It was all year long of us being the little guys. Being the little guys, we had to claw and scratch for everything we got. We return every single person along with the first three guys off the bench. We also have more guys coming up next year along with a year experience under 21 freshmen and sophomore’s belts it’s going to mean very good things for the future.”
The second half again saw the Giants (4-10-2) given only a handful of chances on the offensive end. But again, it was the Fremont defense that rose to the occasion. Behind the tremendous performance of Cole Kinsey who make some spectacular saves, Toledo Whitmer (9-7-2) could not break the Giants defense as Carson Lewis, Gabe Reyescruz, Chase Culbertson and Bryce Estep were on the spot to hold the Panthers out of the goal through the second half of play.
“You can’t say enough about Cole (Kinsey). He gives us the opportunity to play the young guys and know that if a mistake happens, he is there to clean it up. He got picked first-team All Northern Lake league for a reason. He is no joke.”
It was just over three minutes in the overtime session that Whitmer’s Caden Betcher. found the back of the goal with a weakly hit ball that cracked the defensive effort of the Giants. The make ended the contest and sent the Giants to their knees as heartbreak had become a reality.
It was nothing short of a spectacular performance by our up-and-coming team. With the entire like up except for senior Emanuele Angeletti back, next year should be a thrilling year for Little Giants soccer.
“Let’s be the team next year that wins league, let’s not have any close games like this one, let’s just take them,” Coressel said to his team. “This feeling you are experiencing right now, remember it when you are in the weight room next summer.”