Midfield play has not been a problem for the Grand Haven varsity soccer team this fall.
Defending and scoring goals, however, have been inconsistent, and the shortcomings in those two areas cost the Buccaneers on Tuesday in a 2-0 loss at Mona Shores.
The setback was the first of the year for the Bucs, who are now 1-1-4 on the season.
“I think we’re stuck,” said Bucs’ coach Aaron Dean. “We’re having moments where we look really good, then we have a few seconds when we falter and we get caught. Mona Shores did a great job of capitalizing on their opportunities.
“Kind of like what happened (in a tie with) Jenison, they got a lot of guys back, defended well, and when they got their moments, they took advantage. We need to make sure we’re not getting caught defensively with too many players forward, and we also have to find ways to put the ball in the back of the net.”
While Grand Haven was struggling to put the pieces together on offense, Mona Shores was very opportunistic, scoring once in each half. The Sailors opened the scoring on a rolling shot from the 18-yard line that made its way into the Bucs’ net.
Early in the second half, Mona Shores made it 2-0 when a player was allowed too much space and hit a fantastic curling pass that was headed into the back of the net.
Dean credited several of his midfielders, including John Strainer, Gerrett Schaap, Derek Braak and Isaac Braak with playing solid soccer against the Sailors.
“John Strainer gave a good effort,” Dean said. “He’s a guy who typically comes off the bench for us, and his effort was outstanding. Gerrett is someone who has been really consistent for us.”
The Bucs return to action on Thursday as they play at Reeths-Puffer. They open O-K Red play next week.
TROJANS SHUT OUT CRUSADERS, 5-0
Zach Gilson and Noah Hendricks each scored twice as Fruitport’s varsity soccer squad scored a 5-0 win over Muskegon Catholic Central on Tuesday.
Gilson opened the scoring six minutes into the first half, then Hendricks scored several minutes later on a great left-footed shot, assisted by Dalton Mullennix.
Andrew Frost made it 3-0 later in the half.
Hendricks took a pretty cross from Bryant Rebone and scored 8:34 into the second half for a 4-0 advantage, then Gilson finished the scoring as he put the ball into the net on a breakaway with 23:10 remaining in the game.
“I believe the tough game versus Rockford really prepared us to compete at the top level, and we came out tonight and looked the best we have all season,” said Trojans’ coach Greg Kobylak. “Ben Kramer was solid in defense and helped Conner Deenen earn the shutout with six saves.”
Kobylak credited Nathan Sturtevant, Ben Kramer and Kyle Winger with playing well defensively. Seth Carrier, Nick Carrier and Frost played solid games in the midfield.
The Trojans (2-2-2) will take on Cedar Springs on Thursday.