ALLENDALE - Spring Lake took on Allendale in the district quarterfinals and won their match 3-0. This win was the third time the Lakers defeated the Falcons this season and the win moves Spring Lake onto the district semifinals.
“Playing a team three times is difficult. They are not a team that we’ve blown out in the past. If we didn’t come out and play our game then they could have beaten us,” Spring Lake head coach Jeremy Thelen said. “We had a lot of chances we could have finished and as we get further into the tournament that’s got to happen.”
The first half was dominated by defense. The Lakers offense possessed the ball for most of the half, but was unable to find the back of the net until Malachi Mulder got an opportunity with 11 minutes left in the half and got a shot on goal and found the back of the net with a laser past the Allendale goalie.
The Lakers went into the half up 1-0. The Lakers were strong in the first half putting 11 shots on goal while allowing zero.
The second half started with a second goal by the Lakers, Mulder was in the box and headed the ball to his teammate Ben DesJardin who had a wide open net.
“We were pretty confident coming in, but we had to play on grass and we don’t normally play on grass so that was a little difficult. We knew they would be ready but we pushed through,” DesJardin said. “I felt like we worked harder than them and got a lot of 50/50 balls and played out of it and got good chances because of it.”
The final goal of the game came with 23 minutes remaining when Benjamin Bush sent a corner kick into the box and it found Porter Saunders, who redirected it into the back of the net and brought the match to its 3-0 final.
“I told these guys the big thing is the mental game," Thelen said. "When your opportunity comes up to make a tackle, when your opportunity comes up to make the right pass, when your opportunity comes up to finish that chance we’ve got to mentally be in that moment every time. That’s one of the things where we can’t have a let down, defensively that one moment where we check out is going to hurt us later.”
The Lakers move on to face a familiar foe and one of their biggest rivals Fruitport at home on Tuesday.