Portage Central and Gull Lake played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday evening, allowing the Mustangs to secure the regular season SMAC soccer championship and the top seed for next week’s gold bracket tournament. The Blue Devils came mere inches from victory in the final seconds, as one last shot try from Rosie Wisser went barely over the crossbar as time expired.
Gull Lake controlled the chances in the first half with seven shots on goal to only one for PC. The Mustangs came out firing in the second half and won the margin 7-3. Although Portage Central had control initially in the second, it was the Blue Devils who scored first. Freshman Mackenzie Ford tallied the initial goal at the start of the 51st minute, assisted by senior Mackenzie Wank.
Portage Central matched with a goal of their own from a freshman, as Lexi Lee scored with an assist by junior captain Lauren McColley in the 57th minute. Freshman goalkeeper Abby Areaux was able to hold the score at 1-1 from there for PC, unofficially making nine saves. GL’s Gabby Bennecke stopped six.
The Mustangs finish league play at 8-0-2 and move to 10-2-2. They return to action in the gold bracket semifinal at home Wednesday against whichever team places fourth in the standings. The SMAC tournament games have been pushed back from Monday/Wednesday to Wednesday/Friday in order to complete all league games that were postponed due to washouts.
Gull Lake falls to 10-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 within league play. At 22 points, they drop to third behind St. Joseph’s 23 points (7-1-2) However, the Blue Devils would take second back from the Bears with a win or draw Friday at Kalamazoo Central.