Coyotes fall to Ludington

AGGRESSIVE: Reed City's Corey Saladin (right) pokes the ball away from Ludington's Carlyle Petersen (17) during Monday's soccer match at Reed City High School. (Herald Review photo/Martin Slagter)
AGGRESSIVE: Reed City’s Corey Saladin (right) pokes the ball away from Ludington’s Carlyle Petersen (17) during Monday’s soccer match at Reed City High School. (Herald Review photo/Martin Slagter)

REED CITY — Reed City soccer coach Dave Mix found himself saying “good stuff” to his players on a number of occasions during Monday’s game against Ludington.

Although the Coyotes dropped the nonconference game 5-1, the score wasn’t indicative of how close the game was throughout, Mix said, which was a credit to the Reed City defense.

“In the first half, I thought we did pretty well adjusting to their speed on the outside,” he said. “They like to take it wide and hit that through ball. I thought we contained the attacks pretty well, and made some adjustments on the field, which our young guys handled pretty well.”

Reed City (4-5, 2-1) gave up a pair of first half goals to a skilled Ludington team that liked to get the ball outside to the wings and work in.

It made scoring chances more difficult for the Orioles, particularly in the first half, coach Tim Bryant said.

“They were positioned well so they got in your way,” he said. “You didn’t get an easy pass, so you had to work a little harder. They were very disciplined in playing their positions.”

Ludington scored first at 29:07 when Michael LuetKemeyer found Malcolm Thompson for a low pass in front of the net to make it 1-0.

The Orioles were limited on quality scoring chances throughout the half, but were able to put a second goal on the board with 4:16 remaining when Alexander Podolski beat Reed City keeper Ben Schermerhorn on a hard shot in the left corner. Ludington out-shot Reed City 16-5.

Mix credited his team’s ability to contest balls throughout the game for making it competitive until the late stages.

“We talked a lot about 50/50 balls,” he said. “Of course, when you’re playing against Ludington, 50/50 balls are very difficult. I thought we did go all-out for those — we didn’t back down like we have been doing.”

Ludington was held scoreless in the second half until the game’s final nine minutes, when the Orioles tallied three scores. The first came on a shot drilled by LuetKemeyer in the right corner of the goal to make it 3-0 with 8:54 remaining.

Moments later, Reed City got a goal from sweeper Eric Voelker, who was moved up to offense in the second half after his twin brother, Kyle, left the game with a knee injury. The senior fired in a shot from long distance that was out of the reach of Ludington keeper Joshua Jensen to make it 3-1 with 8:37.

Voelker said he thought the defense stepped up on Monday and played more aggressively than it had all season.

“We really stayed on (Michael LuetKemeyer) who is all-state so we marked him,” he said. “I think we did a lot better controlling the ball and didn’t let a lot of balls go through.”

Ludington’s Miguel Munoz-Martin and Jacob Schoon added goals late to make it 5-1.

Reed City is in action again at 5 p.m. when they travel to Fremont Providence Christian.

Visit the photo gallery to see more photos from this game.