NMC kickers win twice, in district finals

May 30, 2019

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

The McBain Northern Michigan Christian girls soccer team punched their ticket into the district finals on Tuesday night. The Lady Comets, hosting Big Rapids Crossroads in a division four semi-final, picked up a convincing 5-1 victory.

“Defensively, we played well, shutting down their threats, mostly before they could materialize,” head coach Dave VanHaitsma said. “Sydney Hart had a very strong game, quarterbacking us well and her two assists to Lauren Closson were very well played. Closson’s one-timer off Hart’s first assist as a thing of beauty.”

In all, Closson had three goals, getting assisted on each, two by Hart and one by Makayla Hall. Hall also netted a goal in each half.

Megan Bennett was in goal, making five saves.

On Thursday, May 23 the Comets avenged a loss from earlier in the week against Brethren, this time topping them 3-0 in their district opener.

“The game before was quite possibly our worst game as a team all year and this game was one of the best,” VanHaitsma said. “We controlled from beginning to end, but couldn’t score until less than six minutes remained in the first half, when Hart scored to put us up 1-0. The second half continued with us in control, but having a hard time finding the back of the net.”

NMC had its second half goals come on a Paige Ebels kick on a pass by Hart and Hall kicked one in on a rebound with three minutes to play.

Bennett was in goal to earn the win.

“Defensively, we were strong with Maggie Yount, Kari VanPolen, Callie Keysor and Maddie Benthem enjoying particularly solid games,” VanHaitsma said.

NMC hosted Houghton Lake on Thursday for the district championship. The winner moves on to Tuesday’s regional semi-final at Muskegon Western Michigan Christian.

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