A year after reaching the Division 2 state semifinals, Spring Lake’s varsity girls soccer team is again expecting to compete for a spot among the state’s elite this spring.
“We return pretty much our entire team from last year,” said Lakers’ coach Jeremy Thelen, whose squad fell to eventual state champion Gull Lake in overtime in last year’s semifinals. “We’re very talented. I’m very excited about what we’ve got.”
Four starters are gone from last year’s squad, but this year’s edition is 19 deep with talent at every position.”
Thelen raved about his defense, which boasts returning starters Alex Prout — a junior who has committed to play at Bowling Green State University — and Becca Boven. In addition, Courtney Dockery was one of the team’s top defenders last year before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
That trio will play in front of goalie Anna Gordon, a junior who took over as the team’s starting keeper during its state tournament run last year. She’ll share time in goal with Kalcea Wilson, a senior who didn’t make the team last year.
KRAM, BUCS EAGER FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP
Jared Kram takes over a Buccaneers’ girls soccer program that boasts a proud history, but hasn’t added a conference or district championship trophy to the school’s trophy cases since 2007.
Kram thinks he has the squad to end that drought this year.
“Grand Haven soccer has always performed well, and we have a lot of potential to be a part of that,” Kram said. “Our team this year has nine seniors, so I would call us a very experienced team. A lot of those seniors have been with us since their sophomore year. We’re very experienced, we have a reasonable amount of depth, a couple strong keepers, and a lot of talent, a lot of potential.”
The Buccaneers’ defense features four returning starters in Hannah Kenny and Lanie Kenny, along with Roxy Glasser and Mallory Beswick. That group will play in front of a pair of talented goalies who split time a year ago in seniors Faith Platz and Veronica Booth.
TROJANS YOUNG, TALENTED
Three freshmen and a sophomore will likely start for Jeannie McClain’s Fruitport Trojans this spring.
But it’s a solid group of returning juniors and seniors that should help Fruitport put together a solid season.
That group includes returning all-stater Jordyn Stanberry, who has committed to play soccer at Chicago State next fall.
WMC BOASTS TALENTED SQUAD
Coach David Hulings isn’t worried about talent — his Warriors have plenty of it this spring.
It’s leadership that WMC will need to develop if the Warrios hope to make another deep tournament run.
“We lost some great leadership from last year’s seniors and need to replace that aspect of our team,” said Hulings, whose squad reached the Division 4 regional finals last spring. “That might be the biggest challenge we have — who will step up and lead this team. This is a great group of players who love each other and can play soccer. But they will have to find a way to come together under new leadership.”
Leading the way on the field will be senior Mykayla Denison, a senior and the anchor in the middle of the field. Senior Alyssa Benedict is a transfer who adds great size and maturity to the Warriors attack, while fellow seniors Kati South and Sarah Hughes will add leadership and experience.
Junior Alexys Risken is one of the area’s most dynamic players.
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