Girls Varsity Soccer
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Mar 26, 2019
- WARRIORS: 1
HOLLAND CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL: 5
Warriors Lose Season Opener at Holland Chr.
HOLLAND — Spring has sprung on the Lakeshore, for now, meaning soccer season has kicked off in earnest. The quick start is good for some, while other local programs are still feeling a little green.
The Western Michigan Christian girls soccer team visited Holland Christian for their first game of the year Tuesday, falling to the Maroons 5-1.
The game was closer than it appeared, with five minutes of stagnant play by the WMC defense producing a quick three goals for Holland Christian in the second half.
“We are not ready to be playing games,” said WMC head coach David Hulings. “We’ve only been practicing a week and outside for four or five days. That said, so have (Holland Christian). He had his team ready to go and I didn’t. They were the better team today.
“We had about five minutes of bad soccer where we got tired and started standing around. Other than that, there was more good than bad today. We were staying with them in the first half and that’s a good team to stay with. I thought our goalkeeping play was great. The first three goals they scored were tremendous, great shots. She did a great job, I saw a lot there to be proud of. We just aren’t in shape yet.”
Conditioned or not, Holland Christian controlled possession from the start as the Warriors struggled to control their second touches at midfield. The defense held strong, bending but not breaking under the pressure.
With 21 minutes left in the half, a trip into the Warriors’ attacking third was turned away, starting a clean transition look for the Maroons. WMC keeper Katie Johnson followed two cross-cage passes before biting on the third as the two charging forwards entered the box, scoring on the backside.
The Warriors took to the offensive end with vigor, drawing a corner kick opportunity just two minutes later. Emily Rosema did the honors, sending a ball to the head of Anna Sytsema, who domed the ball home to tie the game 1-1.
The tie would hold to halftime, despite five minutes of threatening possession for Holland Christian heading into the break.
The Maroons added to their lead just four minutes into the second half, netting a corner kick from outside the box with a crisp shot to the corner.
The goal brought a few imperative coaching points to Hulings’ mind, as he pulled his keeper briefly to go over what went wrong. Lily Zenz manned the cage in her place, gloveless. Holland Christian picked up on the switch and launched an outside shot, which was batted away by Zenz.
Johnson returned to the net just in time to make a dramatic save in traffic, as Holland Christian earned and sent a corner kick to her doorstep.
With 29 minutes left to play, WMC threatened to tie the game with a corner kick of its own. The attempt was turned away, once again kicking off a furious transition look for the Maroons. The goal came at the 27-minute mark, kicking off a Holland Christian scoring flurry.
Four minutes later, a hard shot found an unlucky deflection off a WMC defender and sailed into the back of the net with 23:10 left to play. At 22:08, the Maroons did it again, bringing the game to its final tally.
From the final goal to the end of the match, WMC’s defense and energy improved as they gave their reserves a chance on the field. The youngsters put together a few chances at the Holland Christian net, but none would connect.
“We did quite well for the first 52 minutes and for the last 23 minutes,” Hulings said. “But, the five minutes in between we lost focus due to tired legs. In the first half, we were stepping in front of stuff a lot and in the second we didn’t. We let those things go. We got tired and started standing around.
“We have 11 good starters and one reserve with varsity experience, and two of those are sophomores. We are young. So, it was nice to get those kids some time and nice of Holland Christian to do the same. We have a lot of young kids who are learning.”
The Warriors will have some time off from competition to build some conditioning before they return to action April 11 to host Reeths-Puffer.