By Greg Gielczyk
LUDINGTON — Ludington brought the curtain down on the home portion of its girls soccer schedule Wednesday night with a convincing 5-0 shutout of Shelby at Oriole Field.
Oriole Field is about to make the change from natural grass to turf, which means the Orioles will finish the regular season on the road.
But they bid farewell to their old playing surface in style, opening up a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half and dominating the Tigers throughout in the West Michigan Conference game.
“We did some things very well tonight,” Ludington coach Kris Anderson said. “We created some great opportunities, and capitalized on opportunities which we really haven’t been doing much this season. This was a good last home game of the season win for us. It was a good way for our seniors to go out. They’re the last group that had the unfortunate 2020 season (marred by the COVID-19 breakout).”
Ludington broke into the scoring column at the 23-minute mark of the first half when Elianna Jeruzal found the back of the net.
Karli Mesyar capitalized on another scoring opportunity just four minutes later to send the Orioles into the break with a 2-0 lead.
Maddie Billings scored two goals in the second half, while Annie Kline added another on a penalty kick after the Tigers were called for a handball.
With the tournament looming, the youthful Orioles felt good about the much-needed boost of confidence as they head down the final stretch of the regular season.
“It’s important that we start scoring some goals and also seeing balls go in the net helps to confirm that some of the things we are doing are the right things,” added Anderson. “Now it’s starting to pay off and be successful. Those are good things to happen.”
Cambria Britton started in goal and played the first half. She finished with three saves on three shots. Grace Ashle was put in net for the second half and responded with another stout performance, making six saves on six shots over 40 minutes of action.
Ludington (4-7-2 overall, 3-3-1 WMC) travels to Orchard View in the conference Monday.
Shelby (5-7-0 overall, 1-4-0 WMC) hosts Hart in the conference Monday.