The Lakers scored 16 first-half goals to cruise past Comstock Park, 24-1, in the team’s final regular season game Wednesday afternoon at Spring Lake High School.
The program, which is in its first year as an O-K Conference member and only its second year in existence, wrapped up the conference championship with the win after finishing 8-0 in league play.
“It means a lot to me and the players to achieve that in our first season in the league,” said Spring Lake head coach Jason Vinkemulder. “The girls have worked hard for this, and I’m happy to see that hard work pay off.”
The Lakers faced a unique challenge with several senior players preparing for baccalaureate ceremonies Wednesday night.
“We knew tonight was the senior awards banquet, so we wanted to let the seniors out as soon as we could,” Vinkemulder added. “Luckily, we were able to build a comfortable lead midway through the first half, and allow them plenty of time to prepare for that.
“That also allowed some of the younger girls to get meaning playing time against an opponent. I saw a lot of positive stuff out there. It’s always nice to have a few games in the season where you can give some of the younger players meaningful reps and prepare them for the future.”
Kate Vinkemulder scored five goals to lead the Lakers, while Josie Brown added four and Jillian Gable and Meg Ready each recorded hat tricks.
McKenzie Ely, Madison Kaurich, Grace Nass and Audrey Van Linn each added two goals, while Macie Kosch added one.
“We want to continue to rely on our defense,” Vinkemulder continued. “We’re ranked No. 1 in team defense, and we’re hoping that will carry over to the postseason. I think we’re peaking at the right time, and I’m happy with the progress we’ve made.”
The Lakers and Panthers will meet again in the opening round of the playoffs on May 25 at Spring Lake High School with the start time scheduled for 6 p.m.