Kalamazoo Christian topped Black River 4-0 and Gull Lake edged Marshall 1-0 Friday evening, pushing the Comets and Blue Devils into the state soccer semifinals.
For the third time in four years, K-Christian is final four bound and like in 2017 and 2015, they defeated Black River to claim the regional title. The defending state runner-up carried a 1-0 lead into halftime from Portage Northern as Kayla Beebe scored to begin the 21st minute on an assist by Lauryn Mohney.
Despite more than double the opportunities for the Comets, the Rats remained within striking distance through the first 59 minutes, helped by a 14-save performance from senior goalkeeper Martha Rocker. The Comets made it a two-goal game in the 60th minute as Beebe’s second goal and 18th of the season came thanks to a corner kick.
Another corner six minutes later was sent into the net by Emma Bertrand. The final score came in the 73rd minute as Beebe returned the favor, assisting Mohney on her 14th goal of the season.
“We started off real slow, I think we came in a little overconfident,” said K-Christian coach Jay Allen. “After halftime, we were able to settle down and went back to our gameplan.”
Black River finishes at 12-10-2. For the Comets, they improve to 19-2-4 and next meet unbeaten North Muskegon (21-0-0), a team that has allowed one goal all season.
“They’re a strong team from top-to-bottom,” said Allen. “It’s going to be an absolute battle for us.”
Kalamazoo Christian plays North Muskegon in a Division 4 semifinal at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday from Comstock Park. It’s their first meeting since the 2007 semifinals, which the Comets won en route to a state title.
Gull Lake 1, Marshall 0.
The Blue Devils are back to the Division 2 semifinal for the first time since their championship three-peat from 2013-15, defeating a strong Marshall team 1-0 from Mason. The game’s only goal came midway through the second half on a penalty kick from Vanessa Scheel, the third score of the season for the sophomore.
Marshall finishes at 16-4-3. Gull Lake remains unbeaten at 20-0-1 and faces Forest Hills Northern (17-5-0) in their semifinal Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET from Portage Northern, which can be heard live via JoeInsider.com. FHN has been the D2 runner-up the last two seasons.