Grand Rapids FC returned to Houseman Field for its second match of the weekend on Sunday evening. Two days after defeating FC Indiana 6-1 on the road, the Boys in Blue hosted Kalamazoo FC looking to extend their winning streak to three games. Unfortunately for GRFC, the goals did not come as easily as they did just two days before, and the visitors stole a 1-0 victory over the Boys in Blue.
Grand Rapids FC did have the first threat on goal in the opening minutes. A free kick taken by Caleb Postlewait was headed on by Cam Cavanagh to the far post, where the ball barely flew past the head of Scott Doney.
Kalamazoo FC then took control of the opening half, and if not for goalkeeper Noah Fazekas, Grand Rapids may have found itself down multiple goals heading into the halftime break. Instead, Fazekas tipped a shot over the bar in the 25th minute, then made two saves within a minute around the 35th minute to keep the game scoreless.
Kalamazoo continued to press, however, and in the 44th minute, broke through the GRFC defense as a cross into the box resulted in a free header and the ball in the back of the net.
The Boys in Blue nearly equalized on the stroke of halftime as an Anthony Bowie header was turned away and the ensuing rebound ripped off the crossbar by Cam Cavanagh.
“We made too many mistakes in the middle third of the field, we had too many turnovers and allowed them to have control of the first half,” said head coach George Moni. “Our inability to possess and penetrate with the ball allowed them to play a little more direct.”
The second half brought a change in formation for the home side, with a few more opportunities as a result.
A second half substitute, Jalen Rodriguez had a shot on goal parried wide the Kalamazoo FC keeper in the 75th minute. Minutes later, a header by Joe Broekhuizen bounced just wide of frame.
In the closing minutes, two more chances arose for Grand Rapids. Cam Cavanagh attempted to chip the opposing keeper, but his shot was over the bar. Rodriguez would also be denied one last time in the final minute of regulation as the Kalamazoo defense held on to the clean sheet to earn a 1-0 win for the visitors.
“In the first half we played a 4-4-2, then we went into a 4-3-3 in the second half to open up the game on the outside a little more and create more opportunities down the flank,” said Moni. “We added more speed down the flank, and sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. We didn’t have the concentration to finish it the right way.”
“Our effort just wasn’t there, something was missing today and we should have done better,” said goalkeeper Noah Fazekas. “We were missing that fight, and it showed; it’s why they came out with a win here today and we didn’t.”
Just as it did this weekend, GRFC looks forward to matches against Kalamazoo FC and FC Indiana next weekend as well. The Boys in Blue will travel to Kalamazoo on Friday before returning home next Sunday to host FC Indiana. Sunday’s home contest is set to kickoff at 5:00 p.m.