Chippewas fall hard to Ludington, 5-0 in Lakes-8 finale

Manistee midfielder Hugo Skarin (16) heads the ball during the Chippewas’ 5-0 loss to Ludington on Friday.  (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

Manistee midfielder Hugo Skarin (16) heads the ball during the Chippewas’ 5-0 loss to Ludington on Friday. (Scott Yoshonis/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee ended its 2017 Lakes-8 boys soccer season with a record of 3-5 after a deceiving 5-0 home loss to Ludington Tuesday.

Deceiving, because at least three of the Oriole goals were the direct result of extremely fortunate bounces.

“We capitalized on garbage,” Ludington coach Kris Anderson said. “We took bad bounces on their part, or forced errors, and we capitalized on them. Those are the things that when you’re a better team, you need to do.”

Despite the loss, Manistee coach Brandon Prince said that he was not displeased with the game, since the Chippewas did create several scoring chances on the counterattack.

“They (Ludington) earned it, it is what it is,” Prince said. “In big games like this, you’ve got to finish. That’s the short and simple of it.”

Indeed, while Ludington started the game doing most of the attacking, the Manistee defense absorbed every attack, and counterattacked effectively. While the Orioles had more of the possession, the Chippewas had the three best chances in the first 22 minutes, forcing freshman goalkeeper Kyle Wendt to come up big to keep the contest scoreless.

Elmo Sarabia had the best Manistee chance of the first half, when he was sent in clean on goal with about 18 minutes on the clock. His shot beat Wendt, but went just high of the crossbar.

It was a tough night at the office for senior goalkeeper Shane Harrigan, who saved an Ludington penalty kick in the game, but made a couple of uncharacteristic miscues that led to goals for the Orioles (13-4-2 overall, 6-2 Lakes-8).

Ludington was awarded the spot-kick after a dicey handball call with 17:07 left in the first half, but Harrigan dove to his left to make the save.

Three minutes later, Ludington got that goal back when the normally sure-handed Harrigan fumbled a cross from the left wing. It fell to Ludington’s Lucien Chasse for the easy tap-in that with 14:22 left in the half.

The Orioles made the score 2-0 late in the first half when another cross from the left wing fell into traffic in front of the Manistee net. Harrigan could not get a clean path to the ball, and Caleb Schoon put it home with 2:45 on the clock.

Prince said that Harrigan, who will likely be named to his second straight all conference team, will shake off this performance.

“He does well for us, he’s smart,” Prince said. “Not everybody’s day is the day. He had a bad day, but he’ll bounce back. He’s a strong keeper, one of the better ones, so he’ll be fine and come back stronger than ever.”

Ludington scored quickly after the break on another fortuitous bounce, when Harrigan punched away a cross, but it fell right to Oriole Lynn Richard, who put the ball into the empty net just 1:16 into the second half.

Manistee’s best chance of the second half came three minutes later, when a cross by Sarabia from the left wing was headed by Mathias Eriksson just wide of the far post.

Ludington scored twice more, both by senior Ben Knoer, to make the final score 5-0.

“That fourth goal was clean, the kid made a good run,” Prince said. “And that fifth goal, they earned it.”

Next up for the Chippewas is the regular season finale at home against Benzie Central on Friday, Oct. 13. Manistee starts district play, also at home, against Whitehall on Monday, Oct. 16.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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