BELDING – Belding’s soccer team is young and coach Blaine Kemme knows it.
Because of that youth, the fundamentals have been the focus this season. It will continue to be that way after Cedar Springs mercied the Redskins 8-0 Thursday night at Rudness Field.
“Our inexperience shows, as far as making good passes to teammates, getting touches on the ball,” Kemme said.
The Red Hawks (10-5) scored twice in the first 11 minutes of the game. In the fifth minute, Robert Klein got the first of his three goals after he knocked in a pass from Mitch Hamner.
The second goal was scored by Aaron Dault on a direct kick after a foul.
“We really didn’t make any adjustments,” Kemme said.
That goal was followed by Josh Champion hitting a goal from a few yards inside the midfield line that Belding goalkeeper Sergio Bautisa was surprised to see come to him. Champion put his hands on his head in disbelief that he scored.
Parker Selleck rounded out the first-half scoring when he hammered home a corner kick from Trevor Rose for a 4-0 Red Hawks lead.
At halftime, Kemme implored Belding (1-13, 0-10) to play hard.
“Just go out there and keep at it,” he said. “It’s just a matter of making the effort. We tried some different guys at forward. We had some shots on net, a couple high.”
But the second half was similar to the first. Cedar needed only a minute and a half to find the back of the net on a penalty kick taken by goalkeeper Kyle Coutchie.
Two minutes later, Dault scored his second goal on a direct kick and Klein scored back-to-back goals two minutes apart to finish the mercy.
Bautista finished with seven saves, but Coutchie had just three saves to make in the shutout.
“Our first match against them (Cedar Springs) we played much better,” Kemme said.
Kemme put the Red Hawks in the top of the O-K Blue Conference.
“They’re probably one of the top two or three teams in our conference,” he said. “There’s (Grand Rapids) Forest Hills Northern, (Grand Rapids) West Catholic and Cedar.”
Belding’s next game is against Coopersville Tuesday.
“We need to improve our ball control and passing,” Kemme said. “We get the ball on our foot and make a bad pass. That’s what we’ve been working on all season; the first touches, the fundamentals and passing the ball and when you don’t have the ball, where to be to get open.”