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BOYS SOCCER: Roennecke's hat trick leads Roeper over Oakland Christian

Michael Deneroff (16) of Bloomfield Hills Roeper hits a cross in front of Auburn Hills Oakland Christian’s DJ Stevens (11) during the first half of the match played on Saturday Oct. 5, 2013 at Oakland Christian High School. The Roughriders defeated the Lancers 4-1. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)

Bloomfield Hills Roeper’s Chase Solys (20) tries to move around Nick Lasher (16) of Auburn Hills Oakland Christian during the first half of the match played on Saturday Oct. 5, 2013 at Oakland Christian High School. Roeper won the match 4-1. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)

Auburn Hills Oakland Christian’s Drew Losee (22) looks to move past Trace Sheerin (18) of Bloomfield Hills Roeper during the second half of the match played on Saturday Oct. 5, 2013 at Oakland Christian High School. Losee had the lone goal for Oakland Christian in the Lancers 4-1 loss to Roeper. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)

Ed Shiver (9) of Bloomfield Hills Roeper clears the ball down field in front of Auburn Hills Oakland Christian’s Scott Howard (13) during the second half of the match played on Saturday Oct. 5, 2013 at Oakland Christian High School. The Roughriders defeated the Lancers 4-1. (Special to the Oakland Press/KEN SWART)

AUBURN HILLS – Simon Roennecke had a hat trick, and the visiting Birmingham Roeper Roughriders defeated the Auburn Hills Oakland Christian Lancers 4-1 in boys soccer action Saturday morning.

The Roughriders came out hot, controlling the game for most of the first half and building a 2-0 lead. Roennecke got the scoring started before the game was even two minutes old when he got on the end of a cross from Michael Deneroff and one timed it into the net from point blank range. Max Whipple doubled the Roughrider lead just past the 15 minute mark when he curled in a 30 yard shot.

“Overall, after that ten minute break down at the beginning we played well,” Lancers head coach David Andersen said.

The Roughrider defense was in control for much of the first half. Oakland Christian didn’t register a shot on goal until there was just 9:19 left in the first half – but they made good on it with Daniel Smith feeding a ball to Drew Losee, who slammed it in from just nine yards out.

The goal ignited the Lancers. With Smith and freshman Logan Johns providing the energy, Oakland Christian took over the game in the second half, piling up a dozen total shots and earning nearly as many set pieces in Roeper’s half. But the Roughriders defense, led by Graeme Schulman, wouldn’t break; and goalkeeper Calvin Lind made eight saves, six in the second half, to preserve the lead of what was really a tight game.

“We got that goal late in the first, and the second half we pretty much dominated play. We were getting chance after chance, but we didn’t get one,” Andersen said.

“The second half was damage control. Oakland came out, and they played extremely well,” Roughriders head coach Ed Sack said. “It was a one goal game. The score doesn’t reflect the game,” he added.

Eventually, Oakland Christian had to take some chances trying to get back in the game and get the win they needed to keep pace with the league leaders. However, Roeper took advantage of the extra space and fewer defenders to put the game out of reach with Roennecke adding a pair of goals in the last four minutes to seal it.

With the win, Roeper improves to 9-3 in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference and could find themselves tied for first by the end of the day. “It feels awesome. Oakland is a fierce rival of ours. Our league is extremely competitive. It’s coming down to the last two games of the year, and it’s still anybody’s league title. So this was a big win for us and a big confidence booster before the tournament,” Sack said.

Next up for Roeper is a home game against Ann Arbor Greenhills on Tuesday.

Oakland Christian falls to 6-3-2 in MIAC play. The Lancers travels to Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest on Tuesday. “We didn’t want to lose here,” Andersen said. “But I’d rather lose today than go to the first round of districts and lose. We hadn’t lost in a few weeks, so it was a good thing to get that loss out of the way."

Last Updated: 10/5/2013 6:11:45 PM EST

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