Chips fall to Shelby, prepare for WMC

Manistee’s Anselme Sarabia (10) looks to push the ball up the field in the Chippewas’ 5-1 loss to Shelby as teammate Grant Schlaff (6) and Shelby’s Diego Gonzalez (6) look on. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Anselme Sarabia (10) looks to push the ball up the field in the Chippewas’ 5-1 loss to Shelby as teammate Grant Schlaff (6) and Shelby’s Diego Gonzalez (6) look on. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee soccer fell to a non-conference opponent with a 5-1 loss to Shelby Monday.

The Tigers (6-5-1) drew first blood just over six minutes into the contest when Mason Johnson found the back of the net on an assist from Diego Gonzalez. Shelby’s Matt Felt tacked on two more goals in the first half to leave the Chippewas (7-5-1, 0-3-1 Lakes-8) facing a 0-3 halftime deficit.

“I think (we lacked) confidence,” said Manistee head coach Brandon Prince. “Just in spacing, touch, direct passes, things like that. We just didn’t come out with that confidence over the ball and they caught us off-guard in that first half.”

Felt picked up where he left off in the second half when he scored off a pass from Tristan Landis to put the Tigers up 4-0.

“Our guys in the back — right on down the middle — take pride in playing defense,” said Shelby head coach Pete Peterson. “They play defense and they play hard. It’s the hustle that gets you that last ball that gets you the goal.”

Manistee was finally able to get on the scoreboard when Anselme Sarabia blasted a ball to the top-right corner of the goal to pull the Chippewas within three goals with 25:01 remaining in the game.

“(Manistee’s) center two players are the real deal,” Peterson said. “10 (Sarabia) and 11 (Abdiel Nuñez) — those boys can flat out play in the middle. We were able to be physical enough with them and double them down, bring pressure, make them have to pass the ball. We didn’t let them hold it and carry it.”

The Chippewas put themselves in positions to score for the remainder of the game but found were unable to capitalize the rest of the way. Shelby slammed the door shut on any hopes of a comeback when Landis headed in a corner kick with just over seven minutes to go.

“I think the effort was good,” Prince said. “I think the guys didn’t quit. It’s just, what are we doing when we’re not quitting? What positioning are we taking? What space are we filling? We’re just losing sight of the strategy.”

Shelby had 12 shots on goal to Manistee’s six.

Manistee will not have long to hang their heads as they host Lakes-8 powerhouse Western Michigan Christian today at 6:30 p.m.

“We have to just grab our mindset and go try to play the number-two team in the state,” Prince said.

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