Depth is a luxury to have in any sport, especially on a wet field where simply staying on your feet takes effort.
The Grand Haven soccer team displayed its depth Tuesday night, scoring a 3-1 district tournament-opening win over visiting Grandville amid dreary conditions.
The Buccaneers continued their pattern of large hockey-line-style check-ins, and saw three different players put balls in the net.
“We started off the year, and we kind of looked at our talent, we tried to evaluate it,” said coach Aaron Dean. “We really felt that we had a pool of players — we had a lot of depth. So rather than have a lineup and do a traditional style, I felt as a coach that those kids had developed to the point where they certainly deserved to play.
“We kind of fell into a system that works for us — and the kids have bought into it. It’s been effective, so we’ll keep doing it.”
Grand Haven (12-3-5, ranked No. 6 in Division 1) will play Mona Shores (13-5-1) at West Ottawa on Thursday for a chance to advance to Saturday’s district championship game. The Sailors handed the Bucs a 2-0 loss back on Sept. 3.
“It was a long time ago,” Dean said. “I’m sure they’re doing some things differently; I’m sure they’ve improved. I think we’re doing some things differently; I think we’ve improved. It should be a great showdown. It’s a rivalry game, so it will be a tough game.”
It was a tough first half for Grand Haven and Hudsonville on Tuesday night, as both teams struggled to get clean shots during the rainier opening stanza.
Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.