Trojans, Bucs heat up late

The fans who braved the cold and made it to the final 10 minutes of Grand Haven's girls soccer showdown against Fruitport were rewarded with a fantastic show. The Buccaneers and the Trojans combined for four goals in the final 10 minutes and settled for a 3-3 tie in the season-opener for both teams. The host Buccaneers trailed 2-0 at halftime, and were still behind by a pair of goals late in the game before senior midfielder Aliina Weykamp created a spark that ignited the home team.
Matt DeYoung
Mar 30, 2011

Weykamp started the Bucs’ comeback when she made a strong run down the middle of the field, eluding several Trojans before sliding a pass out to Sarah Kober, who was streaking down the right side of the field. Kober ripped a shot that ricocheted off the left post and slid just inside the right post, trimming the Trojans’ advantage to 2-1.

With 2:37 left, another Weykamp, sophomore Lydia, made a sparkling play, as she won a ball 25 yards out and rocked a shot into the left corner of the goal, tying the contest at two.

The Bucs weren’t done yet.

Just 40 seconds later, Aliina Weykamp was at it again, sending a beautiful pass out wide to Brook Spruit. The junior mdifielder just beat Trojans’ goalie Lindsay Armstrong to the ball and slid a shot under Armstrong and into the open net for a 3-2 lead.

Grand Haven may have begun celebrating its thrilling come-from-behind victory a few moments too soon, because with just 59 seconds remaining on the clock, the Trojans’ Lauren Hazekamp ran down the center of the field unmarked and ripped a shot past Buccaneer goalie Lora Finos to tie the game at 3-all.

“I told them at halftime, we need better touches on the ball,” said Grand Haven coach Cor Damhuis. “In the first half, our passes were just atrocious. We got better in the second half, and we wanted it more. At the end, we were all going back to play defense, and we just didn’t pick her up, and Lauren came up the middle uncontested.

“This was an exciting game to watch with 15 minutes left on the clock. The one thing we learned is that we have a lot to work on.”

The same sentiments were expressed by Fruitport coach David Hulings. His team dominated play in the first half with goals off the feet of Hazekamp and Haylie Hanks, and looked well on its way to victory before Grand Haven’s late-game scoring barrage.

“It’s our first game, and what you want to learn in your first game is what you have to work on,” Hulings said. “We found five of six things. Hey, give it to Grand Haven. They put it together for 10 minutes where they really outplayed us and they deserved to win, if not tie.”

Hulings also heaped plenty of credit on the shoulders of Hazekamp, who had a strong all-around game and came up clutch at the end.

“She took it on her shoulders and said, ‘I’m not going to let us lose this game,’” Hulings said.

While the Trojans were pleased with the way things were going in the first half, Damhuis and the Buccaneers were not.

“We weren’t happy with the first half at all,” Damhuis said. “In the second half, the girls were starting to work together, to be available for passes, and we wanted the ball more.”

Damhuis also said an alignment change made a difference as he switched form a flat formation on defense to a more conventional diamond-shaped formation with a sweeper and a stopper. The sweeper is the center defender who stays back as the last line of defense while the stopper wanders forward to win balls in the midfield.

“Having a stopper added a body in the midfield, and that took away all the space Fruitport had at midfield,” Damhuis said.

Lindsey Burnside played goalie in the opening half for Grand Haven, then Finos took over after halftime.

Kober, a versatile player for the Bucs, spent some time on defense in the opening half before moving to forward exclusively in the second half and becoming a dangerous threat, thanks mainly to the outstanding play of Aliina Weykamp in the middle.

Junior Varsity: Grand Haven held on for a 2-1 win over Fruitport on Tuesday, with goals scored by Claire Borchers and Mallory Beswick. Beswick and Alyssa

Rozelle provided assists for the Bucs. Fruitport’s goal came off the foot of Cheyenne Latsch.

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