Western Michigan Christian’s varsity girls soccer team dispatched of rival Muskegon Catholic Central for the third time this season on Saturday, and this time, the Warriors’ reward was a Division 4 district championship.
Jessica Kinnucan scored twice for WMC, which scored a 4-1 win over the host Crusaders to wrap up the district title.
Alyssa Benedict and Alexys Riksen also scored for WMC. The Warriors (17-1-1) advance to the regional round of the state tournament, where they’ll face Big Rapids Crossroads on Tuesday at Fruitport.
The winner heads to Traverse City to face the winner of Leland and Charlevoix on Thursday evening.
“This was the third match between two arch rivals, and even though the score was 4-1, it didn’t play that way,” said WMC coach David Hulings. “MCC was ready to play and probably had more intensity than us. They were on their home field and wanted a good showing despite that we beat them earlier in the season. I thought they improved a lot and our four goals were not easy goals.”
Hulings credited defenders Mikaela Erickson, Mykala Dennison and Alyssa Write with playing well in front of goalie Lindsey Johnson.
“Lindsey Johnson makes things look a little easier than they because she reads the game, has great foot skills and has herself in the right position,” Hulings said. “Our three forwards continue to work hard up top and create a lot of scoring chances. We were probably more shooters today than scorers but we have had an exciting week and are one step closer to our goal.”
Hulings and the Warriors advanced to the regional finals last year before losing to eventual state champion Grandville Calvin Christian.
Saturday’s win was a step toward another deep tournament run this spring.
“These girls just like to be together and play for each other,” Hulings said. “They work hard so it doesn't end too soon.”
TROJANS FALL IN DISTRICT FINAL
A few days after beating Spring Lake in a shootout to advance to the district championship game, Fruitport again needed extra time on Saturday.
This time, the outcome wasn’t so sweet for the Trojans as they lost to Reeths-Puffer in overtime.
The Rockets’ Kaitlin Richardson scored the game-winning goal midway through the second of two 10-minute overtime periods, giving Reeths-Puffer the district championship.
Lauren Maus scored Fruitport’s lone goal off a Jordyn Stanberry corner kick.
Goalie Monica Holden made 14 saves for the Trojans, who finish with a 13-6-2 record.