Grand Haven’s varsity soccer team showed just how far it’s come over the past several weeks.
The Buccaneers lost to Mona Shores earlier this season, 2-0, but reversed that score in the semifinal round of the Division 1 district tournament at West Ottawa on Thurdsay, beating the Sailors, 2-0.
With the win, the Bucs advance to Saturday’s district championship game against Jenison, a 4-2 overtime winner against Hudsonville.
Grand Haven is gunning for its third consecutive district crown.
Coach Aaron Dean said the Bucs were on their heels early in the game, but a big goal from an unlikely source put Grand Haven in control.
“The game started, and I thought Mona Shores did really well,” Bucs’ coach Aaron Dean said. “They played with a lot of energy and really connected well. They did a lot of the things we weren’t doing.
“But to our credit, nobody panicked, and the best part is, when we had our opportunities, we took advantage.”
The game-winning goal came off the foot of little-used senior Brandt Gruizinga.
Gruizinga had only been on the field for a few moments when he found himself in the right place at the right time, knocking in a ball at the back post following a long throw-in by the Bucs.
The Bucs, ranked No. 6 in the latest Division 1 state rankings, take on a Jenison team that they tied 2-2 earlier this year. That game will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. at West Ottawa.
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