There was a moment early in the second half on Monday when the Father Gabriel Richard soccer team made a great run and just missed a shot that would have broken the scoreless tie up to that point with visiting Lansing Christian.
FGR Coach John Redente shouted out positive vibes to his players, encouraging them to keep up the pressure. “We’re getting closer, keep attacking,” Redente yelled out to his talented soccer team.
The Irish listened to their new coach and delivered two quick goals within a 2-minute span to knock off Lansing Christian 2-0 to improve to 2-0 on the young season. The Irish defeated Jackson Northwest 3-2 to open the season on Aug. 16.
“I saw a ton of improvement between the first and second game but right now we are focusing on staying healthy and trying to keep everyone rested,” said Redente, who was shuttling players in and out all game on Monday. The Irish have two more games this week and then two more the following week.
“It’s an early season game so it’s a good time to get a lot of guys playing time and allows us to build good team chemistry and get everyone in shape a little quicker,” said Redente, who just took over the program a few weeks ago.
“I would have liked a little more patience in the middle tonight but overall we have a number of guys who play well together in the middle so we hold it down pretty well.”
After a scoreless first half, Richard came out a little more aggressive in the second half and it paid off on the scoreboard. The first goal came with 28:32 left in the second half after Chase Gabowitz headed the ball in the box creating a loose ball that the Lansing Christian keeper had trouble holding on to the ball. But FGR’s Brett Haslem didn’t let up on the play and his hustle created the goal when he knocked the loose ball into the net with his left foot.
FGR scored again with 28:32 left in the game when Anthony Redente chipped a ball into the box that Gabe Ortegon finished with a rocket into the net off a half volley to make it 2-0.
The Irish defense did a solid job of limiting the chances for Lansing Christian but when they did get off a shot, FGR keeper Kizito Katende made the save, including a few tough ones to record the shutout for the home team.
The Irish have set a goal of getting out of Districts this season.
“We don’t set our sights low,” Redente said.
They appear to have the talent to accomplish that goal. Staying healthy and continuing to improve will help them reach that goal.
The Irish host Detroit Cesar Chavez at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and host Shrine at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23.