Local Sports Journal
The Muskegon Big Reds are an up-and-coming soccer team with a lot of spunk, but the Mona Shores Sailors are still the kings of the O-K Black Conference.
The Sailors proved that again Tuesday afternoon, overcoming a furious Muskegon comeback to post a 5-4 overtime victory in conference action at Nelson School.
Jacob DeRemer led the way for Mona Shores, scoring the winning goal seven minutes into the first overtime period. He finished with a three-goal hat trick to run his season total to a team-leading 13.
Nate Hoover also came up big for the Sailors, with two goals and two assists. He now has 16 assists on the season.
Ryan Susterich, Kevin Quigg and Destin Morley each had single assists for Mona Shores. Quigg stood out defensively while Eric Conley turned in a strong performance from his midfield position.
Mona Shores controlled play for most of the contest, outshooting the Big Reds 16-7 and building a two-goal lead at halftime.
But the fiesty Big Reds, who upset the Sailors on the same field last season, fought back with two second-half goals to force the overtime periods.
The tying goal came with only 45 seconds left in regulation.
The victory improved Mona Shores to 7-2-2 overall and 4-0-1 in O-K Black action. The Sailors, who are seeking their third straight conference title, remain alone on top of the league standings.
“Muskegon has some quality kids and they played very hard,” said Mona Shores Coach Jeremy Leffring. “They always defend their home field very well.”
While Leffring was pleased to escape with a victory, he wasn’t entirely happy with his team’s performance.
“It was a very exciting game, and fun for the fans, but when your goal is to win a state title and play with the best, you can’t give up four goals,” Leffring said.
Muskegon struck first about 12 minutes into the game with a goal by Miguel Flores, who now has 16 on the season. Angelo Hernandez had an assist on the tally.
Mona Shores followed with two goals about midway through the first half, from Hoover and DeRemer. respectively.
Muskegon’s Demetrio Lopez scored the first of his two goals with 11 minutes left in the half, tying the contest at 2-2.
But Hoover answered with two goals in the last 10 minutes of the half, giving the Sailors a 4-2 edge at the break.
The score stayed the same for most of the second half, until Lopez scored his second goal with seven minutes remaining. Jesus Padilla had the assist.
The Big Reds completed the comeback with only 45 seconds left with a goal from Daniel Sischo.
Muskegon Coach Jeff Holmes was very happy with his team’s effort, particularly the second half comeback.
“Our guys put in a lot of effort and stuck to the game plan,” said Holmes, whose team is now 6-3-1 and 2-3 in the league. “If we come out with this type of intensity every game, the second leg of our conference schedule should go real well.”