MUSKEGON — Ludington’s march into the West Michigan Conference continued with another victory in league play Thursday night, defeating Oakridge, 3-0, in Muskegon.

The Orioles (12-1-1, 6-0 WMC) were in action for the first time in more than a week, and coach Kris Anderson said part of the result was the result of Ludington shaking the rust off. That was only part of it, though.

“Oakridge was playing well at the beginning of the season. They got back to how well they were playing this year. I was kind of thinking about two weeks ago that they would be undefeated or have one loss and we could be undefeated (in the league),” Anderson said. “This stretch with Manistee and them was going to be a key stretch for us.

“We looked like a team that hasn’t been playing for more than a week. And it’s been some time since we played on (artificial) turf,” he said. “Those were two factors. It was not a sharp, crisp game like we usually play. Some of it was Oakridge, some of it was turf and some of it was us. It was all of those factors. We struggled tonight.”

The Orioles needed to defend several corner kicks from the Eagles, too. Anderson said Oakridge had six or seven of them, and Ludington was able to turn the Eagles away.

“When it’s a close game, that’s dangerous because you can get a bad bounce or a ricochet (into the goal). That’s a great testament to the whole team, defending and clearing it,” he said. “We got an opportunity to work on corner kick defense.”

Parker Wendt scored Ludington’s sole first-half goal unassisted. Spencer Holmes booted the second Orioles goal on an assist from Wendt. Kyle Wendt capped the scoring before the end of regulation with an assist going to Holmes.

Conner Rudzki earned the shutout victory with three saves. Ludington had 16 shots on goal.

Ludington returns to action Saturday when it travels to Allendale for a non-conference game. Anderson said Allendale plays against the likes of Spring Lake, Fruitport, Hudsonville Unity Christian and Holland Christian, and the Falcons have played those opponents closely.

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