GRFC Gets a Massive League Win to Go 2nd
It was a weekend of high-octane offense for Grand Rapids FC as the Boys in Blue scored five goals on back-to- back nights to defeat NPSL opponent Detroit City FC and independent side Bloomfield Force FC.
Three players netted two goal performances in the two matches, with Scott Doney and Joe Broekhuizen each tallying a pair against DCFC, and Noble Sullivan finding the back of the net twice against Force FC.
Against Detroit City, the Boys in Blue fell behind in the 13 th minute on a strike from Jeff Adkins. Grand Rapids, and more specifically forward Scott Doney, responded quickly. Doney scored his first goal in the 20th minute, looping a ball off a Greg Timmer pass over the keeper and into the back of the net. Three minutes later, right back Peter Brown hit a low, driven cross that found Doney at the back post who put it away for his second tally and a 2-1 GRFC lead.
“That second goal just took off the boys, you could see the life come to them,” said Doney, who was named co-man of the match. “We started slow but once we got those goals, nothing jump starts the boys like that, and the crowd just amped it up even more.”
Two minutes before halftime, the Boys in Blue increased their advantage to two goals as Tyler Fischer headed in a throw-in from defender Trent Vegter.
In the second half, Detroit City drew to within one in the 59 th minute on a shot from the top of the box that slipped into the lower left corner of the goal.
A pair of substitutions and a change in formation then led to an answer of two goals from GRFC.
“One of the things we were recognizing (early in the second half) is they were building out of the back,” said head coach George Moni. “We wanted to add a second forward and change our formation from a 4-2- 3-1 to a 4-4- 2, pressing their center backs and not allow them to possess out of the back.”
Nearly identical plays from subs Noble Sullivan and Joe Broekhuizen resulted in the fourth and fifth goals in the 67th and 75th minutes, respectively.
Sullivan made runs through the center of the midfield on both occasions, setting up Joe Broekhuizen at the top of the box. Letting the ball run to his favorite left foot, Broekhuizen’s shot on each goal was too powerful for the opposing keeper as the ball found the back of the net twice in the span of eight minutes.
The game ended at the score of 5-2, with Grand Rapids claiming the victory in the first meeting between the two clubs.
“Right now we’re reaching our peak from a soccer point of view,” said Moni. “Everybody is getting better, everybody is more comfortable, the chemistry and the bonding of players is far better than in the beginning, and our work has paid off. The most important thing is be consistent, be focused, be concentrated, and get the job done on a daily basis.”
On Saturday evening, Grand Rapids hosted Force FC. Just like Friday, the visiting side found the back of the net first, but could not stop the offensive onslaught that would follow.
Force FC netted the opener in the 36th minute, but the strike was quickly matched by GRFC as defender Joe Sweet pounced on a loose ball in the box and found the back of the net to tie the match in the 38th minute.
The score remained 1-1 into halftime, but would not stay that way very long into the second half.
One night after assisting back-to- back goals against DCFC, midfielder Noble Sullivan scored back-to-back goals against Force in the 49th minute and 52nd minute.
“The first half of this game against Force, we didn’t really bring the energy, so we knew going into halftime that we needed to step it up,” said Noble Sullivan, who was named Man of the Match. “I think the result speaks for itself.”
Defender Sean Broekhuizen added a fourth in 61st minute and midfielder Nate Hoover scored another a minute later to match the goal total from the night before. Grand Rapids proceeded to close out the 5-1 win.
“Our daily work has been very good, the boys have raised the expectations of training,” said Moni. “Everyone is hungry, everyone is showing more passion, more desire to compete, and if you do that, good things happen. It’s a perfect scenario – 10 goals in two games. I couldn’t be any happier.”
Grand Rapids now looks forward to two more matches next weekend, one home and one away. The Boys in Blue will first host Kalamazoo FC on Friday evening at Houseman Field, with kickoff scheduled for 7:45 p.m, before traveling to Ohio to face the Dayton Dynamo in a Sunday afternoon contest which is set to begin at 2:00 p.m.