Local Sports Journal

The third time was indeed the charm for the Muskegon Catholic Central Crusaders on Tuesday night.

A first-half goal by Adam Callow and a second-half tally by Jeremy Joyce was all the visiting Crusaders needed to upend the Western Michigan Christian Warriors 2-0 in a Division 4 boys soccer district opener. During the regular season, WMC had defeated MCC 2-0 and 1-0.

WMC, which finished 10-8-1, was eliminated in the first round of district play for the first time since 1996.

“Our boys really stepped up tonight and played physical,” Catholic coach Bill Moulatsiotis said. “We knew we were overmatched athletically, so we had to have more heart.”

The Crusaders played a solid 80 minutes and advance to a 7 p.m. Thursday match against Kent City Algoma Christian.

Callow scored after a corner kick, a save and a scramble in front of the Warrior net with 12:56 remaining in the opening half.

WMC came right back less than a minute late and nearly scored.

“The play of the game was when our sweeper (David Walker) saved a goal,” Moulatsiotis said. “They get that goal and it could have been a very different game.”

In the second half, Joyce unloaded with a long range shot that caught the upper corner of the net with 21:19 left in the game.

Muskegon Catholic had an 11-7 advantage in shots on goal.

“My hat’s off to MCC,” Warrior coach David Hulings said. “They played a terrific game tonight and we simply were out-coached.   Bill had his team ready and they had both passion and technique tonight, better than we did.   We wish them well and believe they are a fine representative of our conference.”