Grand Haven coach Cor Damhuis admitted that he would have accepted some suggestions on how to get a few more wins for his Buccaneers’ varsity girls soccer team this season.
He needed a few answers on how to solve Grandville on Friday, too.
Damhuis said the Bulldogs were much more physical then his squad throughout the first half at Mona Shores, helping put the Bucs into a 2-0 hole just over 13 minutes into the contest. Grand Haven picked up the intensity in the second half, but saw its season end with a 3-0 loss to its O-K Red Conference rivals.
Grandville advances to today’s district championship game, where they will face fellow O-K Red Conference school Hudsonville. Grand Haven, meanwhile, sees its season end at 7-11-2.
Damhuis said Grandville played it safe in the second half to prevent the Bucs from building any momentum.
“(Grandville) would play kick ball,” Damhuis said. “Whenever they got in some trouble, they’d hit it long over our midfielders.
“Our girls were just not clicking. A majority of the time, they were not finding each other. We were out-physicaled in the first half, we made some adjustments and did a better job of protecting and gaining the ball. But we just couldn’t get a rhythm going offensively.
Grand Haven couldn’t crack the Bulldogs’ defense, or send many strong shots at goalie Liz Schutte. Grandville held a 15-8 advantage in shots on goal.
Junior Mallory Beswick led the Bucs with three shots at Schutte. The talented forward finished her season with 10 goals and 10 assists.
Damhuis was proud of his net minder, Veronica Booth, who he said made several outstanding saves to keep the score from not getting out of hand. Grandville added its final goal with 4 ½ minutes remaining.
Damhuis said it was difficult saying goodbye to the team’s three seniors — Lydia Weykamp, Courtney Springer and Belle VanderLaan.
“I told the girls afterwards, this is a lesson in life,” Damhuis said. “Not everything you fight for in life will go your way. That’s the way it is.
“What I’ll remember about this group is that they were extremely enthusiastic, very team-oriented, and always had advice on how we should be doing things. They were a hard-working group.”