Ludington was able to get itself going late in the first half en route to a 5-1 victory in an MHSAA Division 2 district quarterfinal match Thursday at Oriole Field in Ludington.
Colby Peplinski scored the opening goal with an assist from Parker Wendt early in the first half, but Fremont knotted the game shortly afterward.
Kyle M. Wendt broke the tie with an assist to Parker Wendt, and it Ludington was able to break it open from there.
“We were struggling to play the ball on the ground and connect passes around the time when they scored,” Ludington coach Kris Anderson said. “When we did get some control and got the ball on the other end, we did some things to widen them out and created some width.”
That width allowed Bruce Thompson to score on an assist from Nick Patterson for a 3-1 lead. Kyle M. Wendt’s goal came off of a free kick. What was critical, Anderson said, was for the team to be patient before attempting to score.
“I think that’s the one thing that was different (Thursday) than when we played them before (in a 1-0 loss at Fremont). We had 12 shots on goal and five went in. We showed good poise on our shots. We didn’t force things. We didn’t force the issue. We made sure we got good shots.”
Fremont was aggressive in its play, and Anderson said he warned his players of just how tough the Packers were going to be.
“I told them (Fremont) was going to be very aggressive and go hard at us. We had to match that effort and intensity,” he said. “I was impressed with the whole team’s energy and effort that we played with (Thursday).”
Thompson and Patterson connected again in the second half with Thompson getting the goal and the final goal was scored by Noah King with an assist from Kyle M. Wendt.
Anderson praised the play of sophomore Kyle Wendt and Lucas Petersen on the back line as well as Chazz Rohrer, the team’s defensive midfielder. Bryce Billings also played well in a handful of positions.
While Ludington had 12 shots, the Orioles’ goalkeeper Tiler Marrison made seven saves on eight shots.
Ludington (11-4-2) advances to the district semifinals where it will play a former league rival in Spring Lake. The Lakers defeated Muskegon, 8-0. The teams will meet at 7 p.m. in Fruitport.
“Spring Lake is a good team,” Anderson said. “They play really well. We’re going to have to play a very sound game defensively. We’re going to have to be strong in the midfield and make sure we’re connecting passes. We knew that’s what we were in for moving up to Division 2. It’s going to be a challenge from here on out.”