LAPORTE | Persistence showed its value Wednesday night as Times No. 1 Crown Point picked up a 5-1 Duneland Athletic Conference win at No. 9 LaPorte.
The Bulldogs toed the line between dominance and frustration as the ball stayed on the south end of the field for nearly the entire first half while Crown Point fired off 19 shots, including seven shots on goal.
“I think LaPorte came out with a pretty good game plan,” C.P. coach Michael Bazin said. “They let us possess the ball and they let us take long shots.”
Possession means little if there’s no scoring, however, and the Bulldogs (4-0, 3-0) were turned away time and again as LaPorte keeper Carter Huber made six first-half saves.
After nearly 35 minutes of frustration, the Crown Point offense broke through with four goals in a span of seven minutes.
At the 5:38 mark in the first half, Carmello Morales crossed the ball into the box to set up Garrett Small’s header, which rattled off the far post and into the goal.
“It was one of those things where it seems like it’s going to happen eventually,” Bazin said. “We finally broke through and it was an obvious difference on our part in how we moved the ball and how aggressive we were.”
With less than three seconds until halftime, brother set up brother as freshman Brad Kurtz scored on an assist from senior Bay Kurtz. The elder Kurtz then scored just 28 seconds into the second half, assisted by Stojan Krsteski, who scored on his own 2 1/2 minutes later.
“LaPorte last year was our only regular season loss,” Bazin said. “I had that feeling the entire game. It was a very similar game. They had a lot of shots and they stuck with it.
Getting especially the second goal in the first half really brought in the momentum in the second half.”
The Slicers possessed much better and were able to keep the ball near the middle of the field for most of the rest of the second half. LaPorte’s lone goal was scored by Jon Aaron at the 13:53 mark in the second half.
“We were certainly pressing for a goal,” Slicers coach Chris Buresh said. “We have not been shut out in any game this season. You get that first goal and you never know what happens after that. We’ll get there; it’s just, tonight was rough.”