By Justin Haggerty
In the two weeks since that encounter, the Cardinals have made significant strides and entered Thursday night’s match with revenge on their minds.
That determination made for a better match, but the the outcome was the same as MCC held on to defeat OV 2-1 on its home field in a Lakes 8 Conference encounter.
Muskegon Catholic, which is much improved from last season, is now 7-2-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
The Crusaders only won two games in the regular season last year.
“They played us really tough in the second half, really tough,” MCC head coach Bill Moulatsiotis. “We faced them earlier in the year and we beat them pretty good. Whatever adjustments that (OV head coach) Kyle (Skodack) has made, they’ve made great strides.
“There was probably a good 5-6 opportunities where they had to tie up the game. By the skin of our teeth we got through it.”
MCC struck first when Nick Morgenstern beat the Cardinal defense and found the back of the net 13 minutes into the game.
Just 12 minutes later, Crusader defenseman Nate Sullivan scored his first career goal to put MCC up 2-0.
“(Sullivan) just started playing soccer this year,” Moulatsiotis said. “He’s basically a hockey player that just wanted to come out and have a good time, but he’s such an athlete that we put him out on defense and he came through and got his first goal today.”
Midway through the first half, MCC goalkeeper Connor O’Neill took a knee to the head and was kept out of the rest of the game as a precaution. Freshman Terin Williams finished the contest, making numerous great saves along the way.
Orchard View’s lone goal was scored by senior Caleb Rodriguez on a long shot from the right wing that glanced off Williams’ fingertips 13 minutes into the second half.
“I told them at halftime, we’ve really got to want to shoot,” said O-V head coach Kyle Skodack, whose team fell to 7-8-1 overall and 1-5 in the Lakes 8. “We took a few shots in the first half, but they weren’t really decent shots.”
Despite being outplayed in the first half, OV controlled the ball in the second half and shut out the Crusaders.
“That is actually kind of encouraging,” Skodack said. “We have been letting up a lot of goals lately. A lot of frustration has been coming out.
“Just a couple of mistakes we made in the first half kind of bit us in the butt.”