Warriors ready for regional clash

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:35 PM

When teams limp off the field after falling victim to Western Michigan Christian’s outstanding girls soccer team, they typically don’t know what hit them.

That’s because WMC can attack you in so many different ways.

The Warriors boast a balanced lineup, especially on offense, where three girls — Alexys Riksen, Alyssa Benedict and Jessica Kinnucan have combined to score more than 70 goals this season. Opponents don’t know which of the dangerous strikers to focus on, and few have managed to slow down all three at once.

“I have three forwards who are really unselfish players,” said WMC coach David Hulings. “Alexys has got 30-some goals this year, Alyssa, who transferred from Fruitport last summer, has about 20, and Kinnucan has about 20. They just share the ball, and they’re not afraid to give the extra pass.

“You take one away and you have to deal with the other two.”

The next team to face that daunting task of slowing the Warriors’ high-octane attack is Big Rapids Crossroads in tonight’s Division 4 regional semifinal game. That contest begins at 7 p.m. at Fruitport High School.

If Crossroads can’t come up with a defensive strategy to deal with WMC’s three-headed attack, it could be a long night. The Warriors outscored their three district tournament opponents, 20-1.

“Our team is pretty versatile,” Hulings said. “We play a number of different shapes (formations). I haven’t had a girls team this good at playing the style we want at this moment, then switching.

“Before, we’ve always been locked into a formation, a style of play. These last 2-3 weeks have been really good for us. We’re as versatile with our style of play as we are with who plays in what position.”

One position that has been on lock-down the past three years is the goalie spot. Lindsey Johnson is a third-year starter from goal and has had another strong season as a junior.

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