By Dave Tomczak
That’s how good the Western Michigan Christian Warriors are this season, particularly when Evan Fles is at the top of his game.
Fles scored an amazing five goals, and the game was stopped with 30 minutes left in the second half, with the host Warriors racing past a good Ludington squad 8-0.
The game was viewed as a conference showdown with possible championship implications. But the Warriors served notice that they will be tough for anyone to beat in the Lakes 8 this fall.
“We expected a battle and our guys want hard battles,” said WMC coach David Hulings, whose team improved to 14-1 overall and 6-0 in the conference. “But Evan played out of his mind. Anybody can score on this team. It was one guy’s night tonight, but it could be someone else’s night the next time.”
Fles’ first goal came 5:24 into the game, when he broke in alone on Ludington goalie Kyle Wendt, who came out of the net to challenge the shot and got a piece of it, but not enough.
Fles added two more goals over the next 2:22, and WMC had a 3-0 lead less than eight minutes into the contest.
Ludington settled down for the next 14 minutes, producing some offense, but its limited shots were all turned away by WMC goalkeeper Jameson Goorman.
With 18:35 left in the half, Adam Van Hoeven to put the Warriors up 4-0. About seven minutes later Owen Alfree scored, with an assist from Van Hoeven, to give the hosts a 5-0 halftime edge.
The start of the second half mirrored the start of the game. Fles scored eight minutes in, then added his fifth and final tally 10 seconds later on a penalty kick.
The mercy rule ended the game at the 30:45 mark when Chandler Breit scored to give the Warriors an 8-0 advantage.
“I think we really built this game up, mentally, and we came out a little tight,” said Ludington Coach Kris Anderson, whose team is now 10-4-2 overall and 4-2 in the conference. “They’re a good team, they capitalized on their opportunities and it snowballed and became a big boulder. We couldn’t hold them back.”
Van Hoeven finished the game with two assists, while Breit, Alfree, Tommy Tencate and Brant Zeerip each added single assists for Western Michigan Christian.
WMC outshot Ludington 11-3.