MUSKEGON – The Muskegon Risers women’s team may have very limited experience with indoor soccer, but many of the players were together on last summer’s outdoor team.

They clearly reaped the benefits of that familiarity in a 10-2 victory over the Grand Rapids Wanderers on Saturday in their season opener at Mercy Health Arena.

The indoor and outdoor games are a lot different, but teamwork is teamwork.

“Our roster was made up probably 90 percent of the outdoor team,” said Risers head coach Debbie Pekel. “These girls played eight games together last summer and I think it really showed tonight and helped us.”

One of those returning players from the outdoor team was Claudia Muessig, who netted two goals in the first quarter that propelled the Risers toward victory.

Muskegon’s Emily Olsen lets a shot rip past a Grand Rapids defender. Photo/Jeremy Clark

“I’ve known these girls from outdoor,” said Muessig about her teammates. “We’ve communicated before, and I think that really helps. The soccer world is a place where you all kind of know each other, too, which also helps.”

The first goal of the season didn’t take long to come, with Muessig netting it just 23 seconds into the game.

At the 7:50 mark of the first quarter, Muessig scored her second goal of the opening quarter, giving the Risers a 2-0 lead.

After Grand Rapids countered with a goal, America Lemus found the back of the net at the 14:20 mark to give Muskegon a 3-1 lead after one quarter.

“It settles things down,” said Pekel about the jump start a good first quarter gave her squad. “It also gives a team a lot of confidence, and I think that was also really important for us.”

The Risers’ Rylee Vruggink watches one of her two goals go in the net. Photo/Jeremy Clark

In the second quarter, Muskegon outscored Grand Rapids 2-1, with goals coming from Lexi Ponstein and Katelyn Wilkowski. The Risers led 5-2 at halftime.

At the 3:25 mark of the third quarter, Wilkowski netted her second goal to extend the Riser lead to 6-2.

The last goal of the third quarter came when a Grand Rapids player tried to clear the ball and instead hit her teammate, who deflected the ball into her own net. The goal was credited to Lemus at the 9:00 mark, giving Muskegon a 7-2 lead after three quarters.

Rylee Vruggink of Muskegon scored two goals in the fourth quarter, before the final tally of the night was scored by Lauren Peterson.

Muskegon’s Claudia Muessig takes a shot. Photo/Jeremy Clark

Muessig, Lemus, Wilkowski and Vruggink all netted two goals to lead the Muskegon attack.

“I knew we had some great offensive players,” Pekel said. “They can really hold their own.”

Muskegon outshot Grand Rapids 34-3 on the night.

Meussig said the arena atmosphere was a new and fun for her and her teammates.

“It was exciting,” said Meussig. “It was a great atmosphere, and all the fans were really supportive, so it was a lot of fun.”

The Risers women will next play on Jan. 29 at hone against the Cincinnati Sirens.