By Justin Haggerty
MUSKEGON – The Fruitport girls soccer team’s 2014 season ended much sooner than the Trojans hoped.
That loss is apparently a motivator for the Trojans’ returning players this year. They are off to an impressive 6-1-2 start, with a 2-0 record in the Lakes 8 Conference.
Their latest victory came Wednesday in a 2-0 shutout of host Orchard View in an important conference matchup played in harsh weather conditions.
The Trojans took control of the game by scoring both of their goals only 22 seconds apart in the first half.
Grace Carmean and Marissa Hassevoort were the goal scorers for Fruitport. Jaydie Hanks had an assist.
Trojan goalkeeper Monica Holden earned the shutout.
“It was a pretty rough game, I think my girl’s controlled their composure,” said Fruitport Coach Jeannie McClain, who has six seniors returning from last year’s team. “I think we dominated most of the game.
“I thought we did a nice job of finding our feet and controlling the pace of play. Orchard View always runs hard and I thought we did a nice job of negating that by possessing the ball.”
The game was scoreless for most of the first half, with the Trojans controlling the ball the majority of the time.
Carmean broke the deadlock with 15:14 to go in the first half with a shot that floated over Orchard View goalkeeper Rachel Tabler.
Hassevoort added the final goal 22 seconds later with a hard shot that Tabler at first appeared to stop, but somehow snuck into the goal.
“I thought that was a momentum changer,” said Orchard View Coach Burt Wachter. “But it still got through 10 people first.”
Both teams had to deal with cold temperatures and snow flurries throughout the game. The slick conditions made any sort of offensive effort difficult for the teams, particularly in the scoreless second half.
“The second half, with the snow, it got pretty slippery,” McClain said. “It was really hard to control the ball at that point.”
Orchard View, which advanced to the regional finals last season, fell to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Lakes 8.
Wachter knew what to expect from Fruitport coming in.
“I knew they’d be strong in the midfield,” Wachter said. “I was a little surprised that we couldn’t keep up with them and their speed on the outside. They were able to use their speed to create opportunities.”
Fruitport outshot Orchard View 10-3 in the contest.