The Kalamazoo Christian and Gull Lake girls soccer teams advanced to their respective regional championships with wins Tuesday evening, meanwhile Portage Central was knocked out in a heart-breaker. The Comets downed Jackson Lumen Christi 3-1 and the Blue Devils beat St. Joseph 4-1 to prolong their seasons. The Mustangs fell in penalty kicks 2-1 to Midland to end their 2019 campaign.
DIVISION 4 AT PORTAGE NORTHERN
Kalamazoo Christian 3, Lumen Christi 1
The third-ranked Comets struck first in the seventh minute with a long pass from Lauryn Mohney getting through to Kayla Beebe for Beebe’s 101st career goal. The Titans were able to match in the 12th minute via their top goal scorer, Katie Schonard.
“We made one mistake on defense, (Schonard) scored,” said K-Christian head coach Jay Allen. “After we went up 3-1, we just man-marked her throughout the field with double-teams because we knew she was dangerous. We knew their midfield was dangerous, so we just kept the ball as best we could away from the middle of the field.”
The game wasn’t tied long as the Comets used a corner kick from Sarah Miller to reclaim the lead less than two minutes later. Miller’s corner found Mohney’s head for the 2-1 advantage, which held through to the halftime horn. Kalamazoo Christian unofficially won first half shots 16-5 with a 9-3 difference on goal.
Lumen Christi came out firing right at the start of the half and forced two back-to-back saves from Comet goalkeeper Jenna Blackwell, who finished with seven stops. After those challenges were turned away, Beebe scored her second goal in the 46th minute for a 3-1 lead.
The Titans stayed even with K-Christian for second half shots, but couldn’t break through the stingy Comet defense, which has allowed multiple goals only twice all season. LC goalie Veronica Piotrowski stopped 14. With the result, Lumen Christi closes their season at 10-12-0.
Kalamazoo Christian improves to 19-2-2 and heads to the regional final for the third consecutive season. Like the prior two years, Black River will be the opposition as the Rats downed Michigan Lutheran 4-0 in their semifinal.
“The Rats are very well coached and they’re going to be ready to play,” said Allen. “(Head Coach) Kyle (Lawton) always comes in with something up his sleeve. We just have to be ready to play our game and control things.”
The regional final is set for a 6:30 p.m. ET start Friday from Portage Northern.
Black River 4, Michigan Lutheran 0
Although first half chances were roughly similar, the Rats took a 2-0 lead into halftime with a seventh minute goal by Sami Lopez and a 37th minute one from Kate DeYoung. DeYoung completed the hat-trick with additional goals in the 44th and 74th minutes as Black River outlasted a 13-player Titan roster.
BR goalkeeper Bethany Lechenet picked up a hard-earned clean sheet with 11 saves. ML’s Autumn McCune unofficially turned away ten as her team finishes 13-2-0.
Black River improves to 9-11-1 and will play in their fourth regional final in five years on Friday. In the previous three appearances, Kalamazoo Christian played he spoiler each time. The Rats and Comets battle at 6:30 p.m. Friday from Portage Northern.
DIVISION 2 AT SPRING ARBOR UNIVERSITY
Gull Lake 4, St. Joseph 1
The Blue Devils put the Bears up against the wall immediately, racing out to a 3-0 lead only seven minutes into the match. Both squads scored once more into halftime with the 4-1 mark going unchanged through the second half. Sisters Reagan and Rosie Wisser had two goals apiece. Rosie and Maddie Corstange both tallied an assist. Goalkeeper Gabby Bennecke turned away six shots in net.
The fourth-ranked Blue Devils improve to 17-2-1 and face Marshall in a rematch of last year’s regional final. You can listen to that match via JoeInsider.com live with a 7 p.m. Friday kickoff at Spring Arbor. Gull Lake eked out a 1-0 win over the Redhawks last season.
Marshall 1, Dexter 0
The lone goal came midway through the first half via Olivia Zulewski, giving the edge to the ninth-ranked Redhawks over the tenth-ranked Dreadnaughts. Marshall improves to 19-2 ahead of their rematch with Gull Lake Friday at 7 p.m. from Spring Arbor University.
DIVISION 1 AT EAST KENTWOOD
Midland 2, Portage Central 1 (3-2 PKs)
After falling behind 1-0 in the first half, junior Jaclynn Sibley was able to tie the game in the 67th minute for Portage Central. The game stayed locked up at 1-1 through both overtime periods. Midland goalkeeper Maya Etienne was able to make three key stops in the shootout, giving the Chemics the 3-2 edge.
The Mustangs finish at 12-4-4 and graduate seniors Samantha Hawn, Sarah Bergman, Alana Hague and Mary Mitchell. Seventh-ranked Midland battles Forest Hills Central in Thursday’s championship at 6 p.m. from East Kentwood. FHC defeated Grand Haven 4-2 in their semifinal.