Chips blanked by Fremont

Manistee’s Mallory Stefanski stares down the ball Thursday during the Chippewas’ 4-0 loss Fremont to wrap up the regular season. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Coming off back-to-back shutout victories, in which they outscored the opposition 15-0, the Chippewas have clearly been on the attack of late.

On Thursday, however, the tables were turned.

Forced to play defense for most of its regular season finale, Manistee was blanked 4-0 by Fremont.

“We definitely didn’t play our best today,” said Chippewas coach Rudy Guillen. “We came out short in the first half even with the wind to our advantage, which I thought for sure would give us a little jump on them.

“That didn’t happen; we just didn’t seem with it.”

The Packers scored a pair of goals in each half, and outshot Manistee 12-6 overall. Carley Rought had a pair goals for Fromont while teammate Katie Parkhurst finished with a score and two assists.

The Chippewas’ chances were few and far between while goalie Adrianna Ortega-Smith saw a lot of pressure throughout.

“This wasn’t going to be an easy game,” Guillen said. “Looking at their record and the teams they’ve played, I figured we’d be pretty even with them.

“But, we had to come out and play, and we just didn’t do that.”

Manistee (10-6-1) dodged an early bullet when Fremont’s penalty kick 12 minutes in hit off the left post. The Packers, however, were quick to make up for it with a goal at 24:41 as Rought found the back of the net off a feed from Parkhurst.

Four minutes later, the two connected again when Parkhurst crossed to a wide-open Rought in front of the net for a point-blank punch-in.

The Chippewas had a pair of early looks — one from Olivia Vadeboncoeur that went wide left, and the other by Sophie Shriver that sailed above the crossbar — but didn’t produce much offense until firing their first five shots on goal in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

“We didn’t have good touches on the ball,” Guillen said. “We talked about it at halftime, and we talked about it after the game: It’s something we’ve got to fix.”

The second half had a similar flow, in that Fremont controlled the majority of possession. The Packers’ Clarie Abendroth made it 3-0 at 29:29 when collecting and scoring on her own rebound that Ortega-Smith appeared to have smothered.

Manistee was unable to really threaten down the stretch, and Parkhurst put the game completely out of reach when ripping a shot from the right side at 4:06 that found the left corner of the net.

Despite the loss that snapped his team’s three-game winning streak, Guillen said he was confident that the Chippewas will bounce back for next Tuesday’s Division 3 district quarterfinal against Mason County Central.

“We just have to get back to work and clean some things up,” he said, “and we’ve got a few days now to do it.”

“We have to get some things taken care of for districts, obviously, and we will.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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