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Voyageurs win finale in opening season

By Murray Gleffe


ASHWAUBENON—With six draws on the year, the Green Bay Voyageurs FC soccer team finally broke through and defeated the Thunder Bay Chill 2-1 in a game played July 14 at Capital Credit Union Park.

“We really came together as a group down the stretch,” said Brian Kamler, Voyageurs head coach. “With the win tonight, I was told we finished third overall. If we turn some of those ties into wins, I feel like we’d be playing more soccer after tonight.”  

Green Bay’s No. 29 Jaden Stevenson tries to get around Thunder Bay’s Alain Sargeant. Photo by Murray Gleffe

The Voyageurs (5-4-6) got a great look in the 10th minute after Alex Welch sent in a free kick from 27 yards out that Nick Markanich headed off the crossbar for a near miss.

Despite not having a single shot on goal in the first 20 minutes of the game, Thunder Bay (6-5-3) took the lead in the 21st minute after Sergio Sanchez Plaza got loose on the far sideline and beat two Voyageurs’ defenders to the goal for the Chill to grab an early 1-0 lead.

The Voyageurs bounced right back.

In the 23rd minute, Matteo Kidd took a pass around midfield and fed Anthony Markanich who sent a shot in that went untouched into the back of Thunder Bay’s net to deadlock the score at one apiece.

“Anthony had one of his better games of the entire season,” said Kamler. “Some of the headers he had you don’t see every day at the collegiate level. It was impressive.”

Green Bay’s offensive explosion didn’t stop there.

In the 34th minute, N. Markanich shrugged off his earlier woes and added a goal of his own to put the Voyageurs up 2-1 with a series of shifty moves from 17 yards out.

Just before the half, Green Bay goaltender Owen Johnson (UW-Milwaukee) made a key save to preserve the one goal margin heading into halftime.

The second half featured less shots on goal, but the physicality and intensity ramped up on both sides as neither team wanted to lose in the regular season finale.

Ruben Garcia Arnanz and Francesco Brunetti were both issued yellow cards in the 63rd and 71st minutes respectively.

With Green Bay holding a 2-1 lead in the 89th minute, Thunder Bay’s Sullivan Oliveira Silva slipped behind the Voyageurs defense and was brought down to the ground. Amazingly, no call was made!

The Voyageurs survived without giving up a goal in stoppage time and end their season on a high note.

“To play in front of the fans that we do is very special for these players,” added Kamler. “The grandstands have been full and our rowdy bunch behind the nets make a ton of noise and get our players going throughout a game. Couldn’t ask for more in our first season. Very special.”

Box Score:

Thunder Bay: 1,0—1

Green Bay: 2,0—2

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