Justin Smith (left) scored the first two goals for Allegan in its 3-0 victory over Otsego. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Allegan shuts out Otsego in soccer

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

According to the 2010 United States census, Smith remains the most common last name in the country.
There was, however, nothing common about the play of the two Smiths on the Allegan boys’ soccer team during its Wolverine Conference match against Otsego on Monday, Sept. 23.
Justin Smith and Kaleb Smith—no relation—combined to score all three of the Tigers’ goals to lead their team to the 3-0 victory.
Allegan goalie Austin Corbett needed to make just two saves to preserve the shutout.
“Austin wasn’t very busy back there tonight, meaning his defensive line played extremely well to prevent much of an offensive attack,” Allegan coach Aaron Rogers said.
The win upped Allegan to 5-1 in league play.
“I always expect the Bulldogs to be well managed and tonight was no exception,” Rogers said, “They showed intensity and grit for the full 80 (minutes), making their presence felt all over the field.”
Justin Smith also made his presence felt, particularly on Allegan’s offensive end.
Following a chain of passes in front of the net, Ulrik Wingdingstad found Justin Smith, who slammed the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 Allegan lead.
Later in the first half, Justin Smith lofted a shot from 40 yards out that snuck over the head of Otsego goalie Brendan Gross.
It was Kaleb Smith’s turn to shine in the second half, as he provided the third goal on a shot to the lower corner of the net off a feed from Josh Webb.
“We continued to show improvements in our possession game and controlled the ball with a calm experience that is developing the more these boys work with each other,” Rogers said. “We had some top-notch goals tonight, with a true showing of selfless team play.”
Gross had six saves in the losing effort for Otsego,
“Allegan was better in every phase of the game,” Otsego coach Levi Butcher said. “They are very athletic and use that to get to the majority of loose balls.  Credit to Coach Rogers for having his guys primed for success and hitting on all cylinders.”
Injuries have been an issue for Otsego all season.
“Our guys have been banged up all season and are battling through it, but are extremely undermanned,” Butcher said. “Our aim is to rest some guys down the stretch and hope we are healthy enough to make a playoff push when district play begins.”
 

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