On Saturday, the Buccaneers eased some of those demons by defeating West Ottawa, 1-0, to claim the Division 1 district title in front of an excited home crowd at Buccaneer Stadium.
“We definitely had a different mentality going into the tournament after that game last year,” said Grand Haven senior Jake Vanderlaan, who scored the game’s lone goal early in the first half. “We realized nothing is given to you.”
The Bucs, co-champions of the O-K Red Conference and ranked No. 5 in the state by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association poll, had their hands full against a West Ottawa team that struggled at times this fall, finishing with an 11-9-1 mark.
To read more of this story, see today's print or E-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.