ERIE — Joshua Michels didn’t come to America just to play soccer.
But the Erie High School boys soccer team sure is glad the 6-foot-2 junior exchange student made the trip over from Holland this season.
During a 7-1 win over the Mead Mavericks on Wednesday night, Michels scored a hat trick to continue his tear through the Tri-Valley League.
“We work hard to score goals and win the games,” Michels said. “We are playing Windsor in our next game and it’s going to be tough. This was the game before the big game and they’re pretty good. We needed to play this game well so we have momentum.”
The Tigers (7-4, 5-3 Tri-Valley) are hoping Wednesday’s good outcome against Mead (2-9, 1-7 Tri-Valley) will keep them hot for a rescheduled game against league co-leading Windsor (9-2-0, 7-1-0 Tri-Valley) on Friday.
After Wednesday night Michels leads the Tigers with 19 goals and eight assists. He entered the game second in the Tri-Valley league with 40 points. Not too bad for an introduction to American soccer.
“It’s going well so I like it so far,” Michels said.
Harrison Wagnaar kicked off the Tigers’ scoring spree with a goal in the 23rd minute. James Reichenbach scored in the 25th, Colton Trigg added another in the 28th and Michels’ first goal in the 33rd gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead at halftime.
Trigg, who was called up from the junior varsity on Wednesday because of injuries, scored his second goal in the 51st. Michels completed his second hat trick of the season with two more goals in the 57th and 72nd.
“Trigg has been playing well on JV so we brought him up,” Erie head coach Dayton Owens said. “I was happy to see that from him. Our goal now is to get ready for Windsor. They killed us the first time so we’re hoping to be competitive with them this time around.”
For the Mavericks, Wednesday’s loss was another bump in the road to building the school’s varsity soccer program in its first year.
Mead goalkeeper Jacob Conway put up a valiant effort with 10 saves and senior Adam Weis provided the bright spot for his team with a goal in the 60th minute.
“We just couldn’t keep up with their speed tonight,” Mead head coach Michael Schulz said. “It was the same in the first game. Our kids are great kids and they’re great athletes and they’re learning the game as quickly as they can.”
The Tigers also defeated Mead 8-2 on Sept. 8.
The Mavericks will play a rescheduled game against Frederick on Friday.
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Erie 7, Mead 1
At Erie H.S.
Mead 0 1 — 1
Erie 4 3 — 7
Goals (assists) — Mead: Adam Weis, 60th minute; Erie: Harrison Wagnaar, 23rd minute; James Reichenbach, 25th; Colton Trigg, 28th; Joshua Michels, 33rd; Trigg, 51st; Michels, 57th; Michels, 72nd.
Goalies (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Mead: Jacob Conway (80-7-10); Erie: Joseph Gildenhouse (80-1-5).