Girls JV Soccer Ties with Grand Haven
Spring Lake vs. Grand Haven. The most anticipated game of the season. Tensions were running high for this rivalry game that took place on Saturday, May 8th. Since many high school soccer players also play club soccer in the fall, having teammates from other schools is not uncommon, it just so happens that most of those teammates go to Grand Haven. Playing against former teammates is always bitter-sweet. On one hand, you want to win, as you always do, but on the other hand, you don’t want to beat your teammates - your friends. But, for those 70 minutes where the clock is running and the ball is in play, your only teammates, your only friends, are the ones wearing the same jersey as you. JV Girls’ coach Brianna Seward said just this to the team in their pregame huddle. “I know many of you know these girls and have played with these girls,” she said, “but today, right now, these girls are not your friends, they are the opponent. I don't want to see you wave at them, I don't want to hear their names and I don't want you to treat them like friends, especially on the field.”
To start the game, Spring Lake had the kick off. It was a fight right off the bat. Spring Lake was playing better than Grand Haven the first half, connecting passes and finding their teammates. This game especially, the team did a great job of sending the ball to the outside players so they could make a run up towards the goal. Usually, in a soccer game, you will see the ball being kept on one end of the field the majority of the game. Meaning that one team is dominating offensively and keeping the ball on their attacking side. But in the case of the SL v GH game, this was not happening. The teams were fairly evenly matched, although Spring Lake had a slight edge. Still in the first half, Spring Lake earned a corner kick. This season, corners have proved crucial for the JV Lakers, with the team scoring off of many. So, Paige Knollinger lines up to take the kick, sends it in and after a fight to put it into the goal, Emily Curtis gets a foot on it scoring a goal and putting the Lakers up 1-0 late in the first half.
Overall in the first half, fouls became a problem. Grand Haven had several hand balls, two in the box, that were uncalled by the ref. Both teams also had several pushing calls although GH more so.
At the half, the Lakers were still up 1-0, and Grand Haven was looking tired. After a quick pep talk from the coaches and advice about what the team was doing well, and what they could improve on, it was time for the second half. Grand Haven had the kick off and they brought the intensity right away, something Coach Bri has been trying to get her own Lakers to do as well. This intensity early on set the tone for the second half and Grand Haven came back and played much stronger than they had in the first. Eventually, they put one in. Defender Alyssa Johnson had possession of the ball until a GH player shoved her, and the ball, into the goal -- an illegal move that should have resulted in no goal and a free kick for the Lakers. Yet the refs counted it as a goal tying the score 1-1.
The rest of the half was a battle between both Spring Lake and Grand Haven possessions. No more goals were scored but it was a fight right to the buzzer. Spring Lake ended the game with a charge to goal, but not enough time to put it in. This left the rivalry game tied at 1-1… Until next year Grand Haven.
The JV soccer team moves on to take on Mona Shores at Mona Shores on Monday, May 10th.