By Dave Tomczak

EGELSTON TOWNSHIP – The Ravenna girls soccer team overcame a slow start to earn a West Michigan Conference victory over rival Oakridge on Monday.

The Bulldogs’ offense, which frequently scores a lot of goals, didn’t do much, but it was just enough to earn the 1-0 win over the host Eagles.

Ravenna improves to 10-5-1 overall on the season and 5-2 in the West Michigan Conference. The Bulldogs are two games behind league-leading North Muskegon.

After being outshot 3-2 in the opening half, the Bulldogs’ offense kept the pressure on the Eagles throughout the second half, and it turned out to be just enough to produce the winning goal.

“We were able to keep the ball on their side of the field,” Ravenna assistant coach Ryan Moser said. “We’ve been trying to work the ball upfield all season, and we were able to do that and get some shots on goal.”

Scoreless at the half, Oakridge, which controlled most of the first-half action, had the game’s first good scoring chance 12 minutes into the second half.

The Eagles’ Saidee Raap rushed into the Bulldogs end to track down a loose ball, while Ravenna goalie Kaitlin Peterson came out to scoop it up.

Raap got to the ball first and knocked it past Peterson toward a wide open net, but Ravenna defender Skylar Hogan raced to the net and knocked the ball away, keeping the game tied at 0-0.

At the 27:45 mark, Ravenna’s Alexys Shimmel had her team’s first scoring chance, firing a long shot that just missed over the net.

Two minutes later she got another chance, from almost the exact spot, and buried the shot into the top left for a 1-0 Bulldogs lead.

“We try to push it up instead of shooting from way out,” Moser added. “But that way works (too).”

Ravenna finished with six shots on goal, while Oakridge had seven.

Peterson finished with seven saves in the shutout, and the Eagle’s Paige Williamsen had five.