Gull Lake kept hold of the top spot in the SMAC standings Thursday with a 1-0 road victory against Portage Central. It’s the third consecutive one-goal game between the two squads with the lone tally this time around coming in the 72nd minute by freshman Ryker Corstange.
The match was incredibly physical throughout as both teams knew that it may again only take one goal to swing the result. The first half saw roughly even possession but the Blue Devils had the edge in opportunities, unofficially winning shots on goal 5-1 and total shots 7-3. Gull Lake continued to pressure Mustang goalkeeper Nolan Szafranski, who made 11 stops in defeat by night’s end.
The second half saw the Blue Devils assume control, preventing PC from a shot on target the rest of the way. Gull Lake had numerous corner kicks and free kicks from good spots in the second half, but were unable to convert. They’d finally break through as a deep boot by AJ Boucher found Corstange on the run for a breakaway. The freshman put enough power on the shot from 15 yards out to get it past Szafranski despite the keeper getting a piece of the ball.
Portage Central drops to 3-3 with the loss and 2-2 in the SMAC standings, tied for fifth with Portage Northern after Thursday’s results. The Mustangs will meet the Huskies in the Portage Derby game on Tuesday, which you can hear live via JoeInsider.com.
Gull Lake is 5-0 overall and 4-0 atop the SMAC with five consecutive shutouts to start the season. Tray’Shan McCloughan and Braden Minehart combined for the clean sheet in net. The Blue Devils host St. Joseph for their next match on Tuesday. The Bears took second in the standings last year and sit tied for second at 3-1 with Mattawan after their victory over the Huskies Thursday.