Pair of Bucs are national champs

With a national championship on the line, Grand Haven's Jacob Vanderlaan shook off the nerves and calmly sent his penalty kick into the back of the net. His four teammates did the same, wrapping up the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship in the U-17 division for the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors soccer team. The Crew needed a fantastic showing against Penn Fusion Celtic in the championship game, which was tied at 1-1 after regulation and remained tied throughout overtime. The national championships took place July 27-29 in Phoenix.
Matt DeYoung
Aug 17, 2011


“We scored our first four, then they scored their first four penalty kicks,” said Buccaneers’ senior Vanderlaan, who was the Crew’s third kicker. “Our goalie blocked their fifth one, and we scored ours.”

“I can’t explain it,” added fellow Buccaneer senior and Crew forward Nate Rose. “It was the best feeling.”

Vanderlaan said he was able to keep his nerves under control as he approached his penalty shot.

“I honestly didn’t feel anything,” he said. “I didn’t look at the goalie. I had my set corner I was going to, and (the opposing goalie) guessed the other way.”

Winning the national championship was a dream come true for Rose and Vanderlaan, who have been to the national event the last four years with their Crew squad. They’ve had tremendous success in championship games in other tournaments, never losing with a title on the line, but up until this year’s victory, they’ve never reached the championship game at the national event.

“We’ve never made it to the finals at nationals, even though we’ve made it there every year,” Rose said.

The Crew’s path to the national championship began with a 4-0 win over the Florida Nike Rush. The second team in the Crew’s path was the Dallas Texans, who had beaten the Crew earlier in the year. Rose used his tremendous speed to draw a penalty kick, which a teammate converted, helping the Crew score a 4-1 victory.

The final game of pool play was against Penn Fusion, and the two outstanding teams played to a tie.

The two teams met again the following day for the national championship. The Crew pulled ahead on a goal by Sean Conerty and looked to have the game wrapped up, only to see Penn Fusion score a spectacular goal in the final minute of regulation, forcing overtime.

Vanderlaan said the national championship has stoked his competitive fire as he and Rose prepare to lead the Grand Haven varsity soccer team into battle in the coming weeks.

“I’ve always had a competitive edge, but from here, I just want to win everything,” he said. “From here, the state championship is our biggest goal.”



First I want to apologize upfront to online readers for my multiple posts. My Bad... I also want to say I have no hard feelings against Spring Lake, the high school or its athletic program.

That being said... I have to bring to attention, to all who read the Tribune (if it isn't already obvious after years of it going on), that this news paper is definitely slanted towards providing substantially more sports coverage on Spring Lake then on the City in which it resides (Grand Haven). Back tracking from present day all the back to the beginning of May I was able to count up (give or take 2-3 articles) 82 Spring Lake High School highlighted sports articles compared to 66 Grand Haven highlighted sports articles. Furthermore, the deeper I go back into the school year, the worse it becomes, and the larger the divide.

I know this isn't scientific study (maybe it should be), however, even if it were split right down the middle, that would still be completely ridiculous. Even more glaring is the amount of Fruitport coverage the Tribune provides. It's like living in Ohio and picking up a Ohio paper to read about OSU Football, to find that instead more than half of the Sports coverage on a regular basis is talking about UofM Football. Talk about some upset sports fans.

Being that the Tribune is called the "Grand Haven Tribune" and NOT the TRI-CITY TRIBUNE, I'd think it only be fair that the families and friends of all the GH athletes get to read more about "their cities" athletes instead of every other cities athletes.

And yes, Matt DeYoung, you could probably do something about this. I know "Spreading the Wealth" sounds outstanding in theory but it's always terrible in practice.

How about showing more than enough love to our Grand Haven athletes before we start highlighting everyone elses??? Just a simple idea from a simple person.


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