They won one. They lost one. And they tied one.
Saline went 1-1-1 at the Balconi Tournament in Canton Saturday. After Friday’s 7-0 victory over Ypsilanti, Saline is 2-1-1 on the season.
Saline defeated Salem in the game’s final seconds top open the tournament. Dominic Rossi served the ball into the box. It was bobbled by the goalie. Eli Routt won the battle and finished, giving Saline a 1-0 victory.
Saline advanced to the semifinals and fell behind 2-0 to Okemos. Coach Ryan Williams challenged the boys at halftime. The Hornets improved their performance but couldn’t make up the ground.
“We were a little sluggish and Okemos, probably the best team we’ve seen so far, came out ready,” Williams said. “I liked the way responded.”
Saline lost 2-0.
In the day’s final contest, Saline tied Plymouth, 1-1. Eric Kent scored Saline’s only goal, with Colin McGreal drawing the assist.
Overall, it’s been a pretty good start for a Hornet team that’s yet to have a proper practice.
“We had a four day camp and still haven’t had a real practice,” Williams said. “We could improve our spacing. But I thought we looked pretty good. Some of our quick combinations were really good.”
Williams likes the way the defense has played. It starts with keeper Sam Herner.
“He’s just a stud – a phenomenal keeper,” Williams said.
He’s playing behind a solid set of center-backs, including Hayden Larance and Zack Mitzel. Senior Zeke Gray, second team all state as a junior and third team all state as a sophomore, will be counted on to score goals. Junior Brayden Stavros will also be a big threat. Noel Sompa can dominate games at midfield and electrify the crowd with quick moves in small spaces.
Williams said freshman Christian Rossi was the Hornets’ best player in the Salem game.
Saline Wins 7-0
Zeke Gay scored two goals to lead Saline to 7-0 win at Ypsilanti Friday. Also scoring were Connor Martin, Noel Sampa, Jayden Pickett, Eli Routt and Jake McCandless. Sam Herner and Ben Sundquist split the shutout.
Saline has its home opener at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Dexter.