LUDINGTON — Big Rapids made things difficult for the Ludington offense in Thursday night’s non-conference boys soccer match at Oriole Field, but the Orioles managed to snare a 3-0 win over the Cardinals.
It was the Orioles’ 10th straight win and improved their record to 16-1-1 on the season with a big West Michigan Conference game coming up Monday against North Muskegon in the final contest at Oriole Field.
“We probably possessed the ball the majority of the game,” said Orioles’ head coach Kris Anderson. “We probably took about 35 shots to Big Rapids’ one.
“They really kind of packed things back in defensively, and just really didn’t create a lot of lanes and a lot of openings for us. A lot of our shots were deflected off Big Rapids players.”
Ludington scored two goals in the first half to go into the intermission with a 2-0 lead, and then added one more goal in the second period.
Steven Stidham, Ryan Kandalec and Aiden Malburg scored. Only one of them was assisted, with Mason VerStrat being credited with the helper.
Connor Rudzki was in goal for the Orioles and notched the shutout.
“Our effort and our intensity was really good tonight, and we moved the ball around,” Anderson added. “There were times where we just passing around possessing the ball, waiting to see if Big Rapids would come out of that box a little bit.
“But, they just kind of stayed in. There was a lot of positive that we saw from everyone tonight.”
Monday is going to be a big game. The Norsemen are 6-9-3 overall, but 4-3-2 in the West Michigan Conference and hoping to spoil the Orioles’ perfect conference season.
Ludington is 8-0 in the conference and holds a slim half-game lead over Manistee (7-1) with only two conference games remaining.
A loss to the Norse would open the door for the Chippewas to gain a share of the title.