DURAND — Chandler Whitford scored off a rebound 15 minutes into the game and Ovid-Elsie went on to beat Durand 4-0 Thursday to remain perfect in league play.
Calen Byrnes made it 2-0 with two minutes left in the first half when he one-timed a pretty pass from Camren Cuthbert. Joshua Swender (64th minute) and Adam Barton (69th minute) scored second-half goals to put the game on ice.
The Railroaders tested Marauders goalkeeper Nate Reser early, but the Ovid-Elsie sophomore came up with a big save on a point-blank shot by Gabe Fielder.
Reser downplayed the save.
“It was mostly our offense tonight,” Reser said. “They got them up there and put them in.”
Durand head coach Dave Hensel said Reser was able to come up with a big save despite a strong shot by Fielder.
“That was a very good shot,” Hensel said. “It was perfect and John Plashek made a nice rocket into there too. We almost got it and we made a lot of close plays tonight.”
Ovid-Elsie’s T.J. Hurst got a yellow card with 16:35 left in the first half but the Marauders were able to play through it.
Reser finished with seven saves. Ovid-Elsie (8-1, 3-0 MMAC) head coach Justin Fluharty said the Marauders’ latest victory was a big one.
Defense and teamwork have been the hallmarks of the Marauders success this season, and Reser’s save in the first minute helped set the tone, Fluharty said.
“Reser played well and they had some shots on us and were in our face,” Fluharty said. “It was very instrumental stopping that first attack.”
After Ovid-Elsie got the first two goals of the game, the defense settled down.
“You saw my two center defenders, Jackson Thornton and Colin Fluharty, they both played great,” Fluharty coach said. “No. 1 (Gabe Fielder) and they stopped him. They didn’t get any balls through to him. The last five minutes Mitchell (Dysinger) was all over the field. He was making some crazy stops.”
Cooper Neyman made nine saves for the Railroaders. Hensel said he was happy with Durand’s effort, noting the Railroaders (5-3-1, 2-1-1 MMAC) could have easily gone up 1-0 or 2-0 had a few breaks gone their way.
“I thought we played very well today,” Hensel said. “We kept with them pretty well. This is the best I’ve seen the team play this year. So I’m hoping for better results as the season goes on.”
Fielder said missed opportunities on passes and breakaways came back to haunt the team, but the squad is determined to keep playing hard this season.
“We have to come back even stronger than last time,” Fielder said.
OVID-ELSIE 4, DURAND 0
O-E 2 2 — 4
Durand 0 0 — 0
OE: Chandler Whitford, 15th minute.
OE: Calen Byrnes (Camren Cuthbert assist), 38th minute.
OE: Joshua Swender (Ethan Byrnes assist), 64th minute.
OE: Adam Barton (Whitford assist), 69th minute.
Shots on Goal: Durand 7; Ovid-Elsie 13.
Goaltending: Durand (Cooper Neyman 9 saves); Ovid-Elsie (Nate Reser 7 saves).
Records: Durand 5-3-1, 2-1-1 MMAC. Ovid-Elsie 8-1, 3-0 MMAC.