By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal
A little speed in the offensive zone helped produce another men’s soccer victory for the Muskegon Community College Jayhawks.
On Sunday, on a wind-swept, hot afternoon, the Jayhawks improved their record to 4-0 with a 2-0 victory over the Morton College Panthers. Morton College is located in Cicero, Ill.
The game was played at Reeths-Puffer High School.
Michael Schmitt scored both goals, both in the second half, for the Jayhawks. The first came with help from Tanner Schaap and the second came after a punt by goalkeeper Tyler Lane and a nifty little pass from Ryan Wagenmaker in front of the Panther net.
Schmitt said he was feeling the heat, especially since MCC had played on Saturday.
“It was really warm compared to (Saturday),” Schmitt said. “We all were drenched from all the rain.” On Saturday, MCC defeated Ancilla 3-2 in double overtime.
On Schmitt’s first goal, it was the pass from Schaap that made it all happen.
“It was a great pass and I felt the guy on my left,” Schmitt said. “I faked left, drew the ball to the right. I just used my speed. I knew he wasn’t as fast as I was.”
That goal came in the second half with 27:49 remaining.
That tally also was a welcomed sight to Coach Ben Ritsema, who watched his team struggle in the opening half..
“We did have a couple opportunities, to be honest in the first half, but they outplayed us,” Ritsema said. “We were just not on the same page.”
That first goal from Schmitt built momentum for the Jayhawks, who scored with 14:17 left. That goal was started by a punt from goalkeeper Tyler Lane. Seconds later, Wagenmaker and Schmitt were in alone on the Panther goal. Wagenmaker calmly slid a pass to Schmitt, who deposited the ball in the back of the net.
“The second half was more Jayhawk soccer,” Ritsema said. “I thought our speed really wore then down and I even saw that in the first half.
“We got a little more composed and effective in finishing,” he said.
Schmitt nearly scored a goal in the game’s opening minute, but Panther goalkeeper Miguel Chacon slapped the ball away with two hands when Schmitt tried to chip the ball over his head.
Near the midpoint of the opening half, the Jayhawks had another near miss. A throw-in by Cameron Rogers to the front of the net found the head of Drew Maus, but Chacon’s diving save kept the game scoreless.
Morton did hit the post in the final two minutes of the first half.
Eric Hilt, Schmitt and Wagenmaker nearly scored in the early minutes of the second half, but the ball was pushed just wide of the net.
Also in the second half, Greg Sischo also had a hand in several quality scoring chances, but the Jayhawks could not convert.
MCC outshot Morton 12-5 with Lane producing the shutout in goal.
Morton dropped to 3-1 on the season. The Panthers defeated nationally ranked Dupage last week.
MCC returns to action at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Grand Valley State. Next Sunday, the Jayhawks host Cincinnati State Tech and Community College at 1 p.m.
MUSKEGON COMMUNITY COLLEGE 3, ANCILLA 2 (2OT): Nathan Brouard scored in the second overtime on Saturday and lifted MCC to a league victory over Ancilla. The game was played in a steady rain. Other goal scorers for MCC were Trevor Carlson and Kody Harrell. Eric Hilt assisted on both those goals. Bouard’s game winner came off a rebound of a Carlson shot. Jayhawk goalkeeper Patrick Stewart made eight saves.