Coming off a grueling loss to O-K Red Conference rival East Kentwood on Thursday, Grand Haven’s varsity girls soccer team had just enough left in the tank to score a 2-1 win over Grand Rapids Catholic Central at Saturday’s Coopersville Invitational.
But the Bucs were running on empty in their next game, a 2-1 loss to rival Spring Lake.
To see a photo gallery from Saturday's game, click here.
The Lakers, playing their first game of the event, used their fresh legs to run past the Buccaneers, and went on to beat the host Broncos later in the day, 4-0, to finish 2-0 for the tournament.
“It was really hard,” said Buccaneers’ junior Rachel VanZytveld, who scored Grand Haven’s lone goal against the rival Lakers. “The weather was nice, and we played hard, but we could have played better.
“We’ll just have to go a lot harder the next time we play them.”
The Bucs won’t have to wait long for that opportunity — the two teams meet again this Saturday at Spring Lake.
The Lakers remained undefeated on the season at 6-0 and have surrendered just a single goal through those six games.
Grand Haven played its opening game without several key players, who were setting up for that evening’s prom activities. Senior Lydia Weykamp, one of the Bucs’ most dangerous scorers, missed both games with an injury.
Still, Grand Haven managed to beat Grand Rapids Catholic Central on goals by Courtney Springer and Taylor DeWitt.
The Lakers were fresher coming into the day, and have more depth from top to bottom, which allowed coach Jeremy Thelen to use two different lineups in his two games.
“We played probably 15 of our girls in that game, then totally switched the lineup for our second game,” he said. “It was nice that everybody got in and everybody contributed. The girls were called upon to do different jobs in different games, and everybody stepped up and did it.”
Against Coopersville, Spring Lake took a 1-0 lead at halftime on a goal by Peel. In the second half, Morgan Carey and Ayna Gordon each scored off corner kicks, then Alex Prout drilled home a free kick from 30 yards out.
The Lakers host Lakes Eight Conference foe Grant on Wednesday, then are home against Hudsonville Unity Christian on Thursday before hosting Grand Haven again on Saturday.
The Buccaneers play at rival West Ottawa on Tuesday and host Hudsonville on Thursday.
Both teams are eager to renew acquaintances on Saturday.
“It’s a good rivalry,” the Lakers' Leeann Latsch said. “We’re friends with a lot of those girls, but that friendship sort of dissolves because of the competition on the field.”
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