Grand Haven hosted state-ranked Grandville in a Bucs’ Pride game, with both teams wearing purple uniforms bearing the name of a loved one who has dealt with cancer.
Spruit and her teammates certainly put forth an inspired performance against the Bulldogs, dominating play in stretches before settling for a 0-0 tie.
“It’s really cool because we get to play in honor of a family member or friend,” said Spruit, a senior who wore the name of her great-grandfather, John Dykstra, on the back of her jersey. He died of cancer several years ago.
For more pictures from Friday's festivities, click here.
“I know Claire Pepper is playing for her dad, and Lydia Weykamp’s aunt died from skin cancer,” Spruit said. “So we definitely have a little more motivation. We’re playing for more than ourselves tonight.”
The Bucs came out firing from the start against a Bulldogs’ squad which entered the game unbeaten in O-K Red action. The Bucs had several great chances, including a shot by Claire Pepper from point-blank range that quickly elevated over the crossbar.
Several minutes later, another Buccaners’ rush led to a shot that nearly got past Grandville goalie Liz Schutte.
The Bulldogs had a few nice scoring chances of their own, but Grand Haven goalie Faith Platz came up with a pair of fantastic saves to keep the game scoreless throughout regulation and two 10-minute overtimes.
For a gallery of game photos from Friday night's contest, click here.
“I think they were getting frustrated,” Bucs’ coach Cor Damhuis said of Grandville. “There were four yellow cards given out to their players, while our girls kept their heads in the game and kept playing.
“The bottom line is, there was much better teamwork and passing by our girls. They’re finding each other in the passing department, communicating, covering for each other, making runs off the ball regardless of how tired and sore they are. They’re digging deep for each other, and it feels good to see a game like this.”
With the tie, the Bucs are 2-3-1 in O-K Red play with games left against East Kentwood on Tuesday.
“This game felt like a win for us,” Damhuis said. “It was a special night.”
Junior Varsity: Sawyer Overway scored, assisted by Amy Wadaga, in a 1-0 win over Grandville.
Freshmen: Grand Haven suffered a 4-0 loss to Grandville.
LAKERS DEFUSE ROCKETS
Spring Lake knocked off a gritty Reeths-Puffer team on Friday, 2-1.
The Lakers, now 11-3-1 on the season, scored early in the game when defender Kendall Meyers played a ball forward to Emily Walling, whose shot caught the Puffer goalie off-guard and soared into the net.
The Rockets scored five minutes later on a breakaway, then the Lakers notched the game-winner as Mollie Miedema assisted on a goal by Emily Marine.
“Emily has been a sub for us, but she’s been getting more minutes lately,” Lakers’ coach Jeremy Thelen said. “She stepped up, and her finish was very composed.”
The Lakers’ defense played well in the second half to protect the one-goal lead, while sisters Katie and Molly Miedema played fantastic in the midfield, according to Thelen.
The Lakers, who finished a perfect 7-0 in the Lakes Eight Conference this spring, begin league tournament play on Monday with a home game against Newaygo.
As the top seed, Spring Lake will host each game in the conference tournament. The semifinals will be held next Wednesday, with the league title game scheduled for May 28.
Junior Varsity: Spring Lake scored a 2-1 win over Reeths-Puffer, with Kelscea Wilson scoring both goals.