Chugiak's Sebastian Ruesch prepares to take a shot as East's Adam Schellbeacher tries to defend during Chugiak's 2-0 Cook Inlet Conference win at The Dome in Anchorage on March 26.
STAR PHOTO BY MATT TUNSETH
Mo means "go" at Chugiak, where Mitchell "Mo" Ogden spearheaded a solid 2-0 win over East on March 26 at The Dome to help the Mustang boys even their season record at 1-1.
"He plays hard from the first minute to the last minute," Chugiak coach George Campnell said of the senior midfielder.
Ogden was Chugiak's sparkplug against the T-Birds, controlling the tempo by winning tough 50-50 balls in the midfield then deftly sending them forward for the wings and forwards.
"It's really important," Ogden said of winning the close battles for possession. "It's basically how you start the play."
Ogden showed he can finish a play just as good as he can start one in the 16th minute when he put the Mustangs up 1-0 after a scramble in front of the net.
"That was not the prettiest goal ever," he said of his right-footed blast from about 10 yards out. "It was more just being in the right place at the right time."
Just four minutes after Ogden's goal, Nathan Macalino added some insurance with his first goal of the season when his shot from the top of the box found the back of the net.
Chugiak's defense then did the rest, continually thwarting East runs and allowing goalie Clayton Bush to earn a relatively easy shutout.
Campnell said he was happy with his team's play, especially coming off a 2-0 loss to Dimond in the season-opener on March 23.
"I'd like to be 2-0, but I think for early in the season the fact that they responded so well from the first game to the second game is positive," Campnell said.
The coach said much of Chugiak's success will depend on the team's work ethic. He said he doesn't believe the squad is yet at its peak fitness and hopes the players will follow the example of Ogden, one player whose fitness has never been called into question.
"He really leads by example," he said.
Ogden said he thinks the team's opening loss to Dimond may have been an early message that the Mustangs weren't working hard enough in the early going.
"We're expecting state to come to us instead of working towards it," he said.
The senior said he thinks the team can and will put in the time and effort needed to be one of the elite teams in the CIC this season.
"It's definitely a goal this year to make it to state and then go from there," he said.
Contact Matt Tunseth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 694-2727 Ext. 215.
MUSTANGS 2, THUNDERBIRDS 0
March 26, The Dome
Chugiak 2 0 2
East 0 0 0
Chu Ogden (16), Na. Macalino (20)
This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, March 30, 2011.