W-P gets long-awaited win
PINCONNING - Oct. 8, 2008 - "Yes," said Whittemore-Prescott coach Ed Schulte, "I do have the right score with the right team (winning)."
Through W-P's seasons-long losing streak, Schulte has usually managed to keep his sense of humor, and his teams have drawn praise from their opponents for their competitiveness and attitude.
After Wednesday's 3-2 victory at Pinconning, the Cardinals could finally walk off the field as winners on the scoreboard as well.
The win ended a 68-game loss streak dating back to a 1-1 tie with Skeels Christian in Oct., 2004. The Cards' last victory came during an abbreviated 1-8 2003 campaign, though there was no account of that game reported at the time. It was also W-P's first North East Michigan Conference win since joining the league in 2005.
But Schulte and the Cardinals, with a victory in their final regular-season game, were more focused and starting a new streak -- something they could do with their first-ever district tournament win at Big Rapids Crossroads on Oct. 13 -- than on reliving the old one.
"I'm very happy for the kids," he said. "They should be proud of themselves. But it's not like they haven't played this way this season. They just put it together from start to finish."
The Cards got on top early as Jayme Humphrey scored from the corner of the penalty area, slipping the ball under the crossbar.
David LaPoint's two breakaway goals in the second half offset Pinny's scores by Alexander Bray and Michael Hasso. Jessica Dietzel, Justin Cataline and Casey Popielarz had the assists for W-P.
"It was a very strong team effort," Schulte said. "It was complete on both ends of the field. We weren't perfect, but we minimized our mistakes and played very hard together.
"I don't like to single out individual performances because everyone played well."
Scott Garnett had 15 saves for W-P (1-15, 1-9 NEMC), while Kyle Sanford had seven for Pinconning (1-17, 1-9).
The Spartans open district tournament play on Monday as well, at home against Gladwin.