FRUITPORT – The Fruitport soccer team may have lost 4-1 on Wednesday night to Western Michigan Christian, but the Trojans gained even more confidence in their goalkeeper.

Senior keeper Riley Kettel was magnificent for the Trojans in what could have been a far worse defeat, stopping 11 of 15 Warrior shots, including a couple highlight-level saves.

“She really stepped up,” said Fruitport head coach Kyle Hall. “She came up big numerous times. It could’ve been a lot worse.”

Fruitport goalkeeper Riley Kettel makes a diving save. Photo/Jeremy Clark

In the first half, Kettel stopped the first three Warrior shots before WMC’s Emersyn Paling scored at the 22:22 mark to make the score 1-0.

Kettle then stopped the next two shots before Nora Pollock scored at the 27:25 mark to make the score 2-0.

A WMC penalty kick goal by Nadia Burr at the 37:57 mark made the score 3-0.

Fruitport was outshot 10-3 in the first half of play, keeping Kettel more than a little busy.

Fruitport’s Hailey Beery (40) boots the ball downfield. Photo/Jeremy Clark

At the 9:24 mark of the second half, Pollock netted her second goal of the game to give the Warriors at 4-0 lead.

That score remained until the 25:08 mark when senior Mallory Smith netted the lone Fruitport goal on a penalty kick.

“That came off individual effort,” Hall said about Smith drawing the penalty and being rewarded with the penalty kick. “Mallory found a way and put a little extra effort in, which makes things happen. We know how important that is going to be down the stretch of the season.”

Fruitport’s Gracelynn Olson (16) gives tight defensive coverage. Photo/Jeremy Clark

Western Michigan Christian has now won seven straight games.

In total, Fruitport was outshot 15-6, but Hall is hopeful his team can finally put together some offense as postseason play nears.

“This is the point of the season where you know the wheels fall off or you see how much fight is in there,” the coach said. “We made some adjustments a little late, but they made them and it’s a different game. We have to put the ball in the net, though. The last few games we’ve had numerous chances in the first 20 minutes, and we have to start burying those.”

The Trojans, now 4-8-2 on the season, will next be in action on Friday when they travel to Montague for another non-conference matchup before the O-K Blue conference tournament begins.