By Greg Gielczyk  

MANISTEE — So far, so good.  

One day after kicking off the 2023 season with a narrow 4-3 victory at Suttons Bay, the Manistee soccer team made it two straight with a 6-1 shelling of Kalkaska on Saturday at Mariners Field.  

Although the Mariners don’t normally try to put the focus on one player offensively, everything just fell into place for returning senior striker Jacob Scharp, who turned a three-goal hat trick. It gives him four goals in two games.  

He was the only Mariner to score multiple goals, which is just the way Coach Brandon Prince likes it. The more players the Mariners can get involved in the offense, the better.  

“He’s a guy that gets into space pretty well, and controls his area,” Prince said of Scharp. “But, he’s not the guy we find. We like to spread the wealth.  

“Yes, Jacob did have three, but we’ve got other guys putting them in the net, too. Early in the season that’s a great result for him, but we are going to keep building this as 11 guys at a time.”  

Maybe the Mariners don’t specifically find Scharp, whose younger brother Max is also on the squad, but on this day, it really couldn’t be helped.  

Excellent ball movement helped the Mariners drive the ball down the field and toward the Blue Blazers goal, and Scharp just seemed to be in the right place for a pass.  

After missing on a couple of early shots, including one that banged off the far post, the Mariners scored in the eighth minute and rolled into the half with a 4-0 lead.  

Scharp broke the ice with a goal at the 31:15 mark, but almost 20 minutes went by before the Mariners scored again on a goal by Nolan Dahlke that made it a 2-0 game.  

Luke Senters was awarded a penalty kick early in the second half, and when he punched it past the goalie, Manistee’s lead swelled to 5-0.  

Mason Robinson finished it off with a goal at 31:05, on an assist from Scharp. Mason Robinson also scored a goal for the Mariners.  

Primarily a junior varsity player, Prince indicated that Joseph may see more time with the varsity this season.  

“To have him come in the (first) two games and put himself on the stat sheet says a lot about Miles,” said Prince. “He’s quiet, but he has a great motor and he finishes with confidence. We are excited to have him.”  

The Mariners don’t return to action until Friday, Aug. 25 when they host Big Rapids in another non-conference game.