By John Vrancic
HANNAHVILLE - More than 80 minutes was required Thursday to decide the outcome of a soccer match between two area rivals.
When all was said and done it was Big Bay de Noc which prevailed, earning a 2-1 shootout triumph over the Hannahville Soaring Eagles.
Alex Ranguette, Holly Severin and John Green hit goals in the shootout, enabling the Black Bears to improve to 3-9-1 with their third straight victory.
The Soaring Eagles (4-2) failed to score in their three attempts in the overtime.
Stingy defense helped both teams stay afloat in the second half as neither could score after the intermission.
"This is a smaller field and it favors the defense," said Big Bay coach Gary Sporer. "We did everything we wanted to achieve. They attacked the ball fearlessly and that's how they kept us from scoring anymore (in regulation). Although, we spent a lot of time working on penalty kicks and tonight it paid off."
Green appeared to have the best scoring chance in the second half, but was denied on a breakway by Hannahville goalkeeper J.J. Larson.
Tallen Boda's left-angle shot on a pass from Cody Meshigaud gave Hannahville the early lead.
Sam Furman then tied the score from in front of the net a few minutes later.
Hannahville played without senior goaltender Seth Williams, who's nursing a foot injury.
"It was a good match," said Hannahville coach Dan Kleikamp. "Not having Seth out there changed the dynamics, but we're proud of the way the kids responded. J.J. had been little hesitant about playing in goal against certain teams, but tonight he kept us in the match. Hopefully, this is a confidence boost for him."
Sporer was also impressed with Larson's performance.
"There were a couple shots we had that came so close to going in," he said. "We tried to chip them in, but their goaltender did a great job."
Boda, however, took over in goal for the Soaring Eagles in the shootout.
"We decided to put Tallen in there because he's the more experienced goaltender," said Kleikamp. "Now, we know we need to improve in shootouts.
"Both teams did a great job on defense. I think they focused a lot on Tallen. We had some opportunities (in regulation). Only, we couldn't connect on them."
The Soaring Eagles host Paradise today and Saturday. Big Bay travels to Sault Ste. Marie Saturday.