By Andrew Johnson

HUDSONVILLE – Four bad minutes cost the Orchard View soccer team a chance to advance even farther in the Division 3 state tournament.LSJ Logo incert

The Cardinals gave up three quick goals near the midway mark of the first half Tuesday and ultimately fell to Paw Paw 5-2 in first-round regional action at Hudsonville Unity Christian High School. 

Orchard View finished the season with a 14-9 record and a Division 3 district championship, which they won on Saturday with an upset of Shelby. Paw Paw advanced to Thursday’s regional final game. 

“I’m very proud of this team,” said Orchard View Coach Kyle Skodack, whose program had not won a district title since 2004. “It’s been awhile since we’ve been to this level.” 

Tuesday’s contest started going sour for the Cardinals with 22:20 left in the first half, when Paw Paw’s Alden Miller scored his first goal of the game with an assist from Jacob Broadwater. 

Only 1:14 later, Broadwater added a goal after OV failed to clear the ball, making the score 2-0.

 Miller quickly followed with his second goal on a breakaway down the right side, and just like that it was 3-0 Paw Paw. 

“I think we got down on ourselves a bit,” Skodack said about the rough four-minute stretch. “We put our heads down and admitted defeat. It took that penalty kick stop to get us back up.”

Skodack was referring to a Paw Paw penalty kick that came late in the first half, after a Cardinal player stopped a likely goal with his hand.  

Orchard View goalkeeper Mattia Criscione stopped the penalty kick, then a quick rebound shot, to keep the score 3-0 in favor of Paw Paw at halftime. 

“I’m amazed at my foreign exchange keeper,” Skodack said about Criscione’s back-to-back stops. 

Orchard View found new life when Adam Skidmore scored on a penalty kick about 10 minutes into the second half, making the score 3-1. 

But Paw Paw threw a bucket of water on the OV rally less than four minutes later with a goal by Ricardo Vazquez. 

Orchard View’s Fabian Juarez scored later to cut the deficit to 4-2.

The final goal of the game came with 21:19 remaining when Miller scored his third goal for the Redskins. 

Paw Paw outshot Orchard View 9-8. 

“They’ve got great kids, Miller is an all-state player and he’s strong,” Skodack said. “He’s a tough kid to beat.” 

The Cardinals will have to replace seven starters next season, but Skodack is hopeful that by making this tournament run, his team will know what it takes. 

“We know what it takes now to get back,” the coach said. “We just have to work hard in the offseason and hope our guys take notice and get better.”