North’s varsity roster isn’t short on talent, but the Rangers are faced with a lack of depth, which hurt them during a recent two-game losing streak.
The Rangers lost a pair of players to red cards and the team suffered in a 5-0 loss at University School and a 2-1 loss at Madison, which especially hurt considering North had a 1-0 lead and missed a penalty kick in that contest.
“Last Tuesday at Madison left a bad taste in our mouth,” said North coach Steve Misick. “We weathered their surge early, scored a goal late in the half to go up 1-0 and then we missed a PK to make it 2-0 and really missed a couple point blank chance to blow the game wide open. We made a couple of fundamental errors and gave up two goals in the last 10 minutes, shots that will never go in again, but that’s just soccer. That just happens.”
The shorthanded Rangers righted the ship with a 1-0 win over visiting Chardon on Tuesday.
Michael Thomas finished off a pass from David Turner with about seven minutes left in the game to secure the win.
“It feels great to score the winning goal, but I couldn’t have done it without the great players around me,” Thomas said. “It’s also a huge confidence boost for the team.”
The Hilltoppers outplayed the Rangers in the first half but North’s defense kept the game scoreless.
“Chardon gave a great effort and really they beat us to just about every ball in the first half and yet it was still 0-0 at halftime,” Misick said. “In the second half, we did a much better job of challenging the ball. We can only move people within our starting 11. I only have a couple of options so we moved a couple of guys forward. We put David Turner and Michael Thomas at striker and it turned out to be the right move.”
Dario Lukic recorded 10 saves in collecting his first shutout of the season.
“The defense really stepped up this game,” Lukic said. “Everyone played their roles and they were quick on getting the ball up the field to help relieve the pressure around the box. Hats off to them.”
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