BY DAN STICKRADT
EAST LANSING — Seemingly, Grandville Calvin Christian had the Midas touch Saturday afternoon.
Everything the Squires struck turned to gold.
Fourth-ranked Calvin Christian scored six times at Michigan State University’s Old College Field the Squires struck that was more than enough to drown sixth-ranked Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes-Clarkston Everest Collegiate Unified 6-0 in the girls soccer Division 4 state finals.
It marked the Squires’ first state title in the sport of soccer and it came against a previously unbeaten team that won the state title in 2010.
“This is our first (appearance) in a state final and our first state championship, so this is an exciting moment for our program,” said Calvin Christian coach Tim TerHaar, who finished up his 12th season with the Squires. “We have nine seniors going out with a state title. We thought at the beginning (of the season) that we would have a very good team. We didn’t put that much emphasis on winning, but the girls were able to pu together an incredible run.”
Katie Klunder scored three goals with an assist, leaving her with 54 goals on the season, and Jenny Holsern tacked on three more goals and an assist to account for the Squires’ scoring. Overall, Calvin Christian drowned the Lakers on the defensive end, peppering them with a 22-9 shots advantage, including 15-4 with shots directly on frame, and even held a 3-2 edge on cornerkicks.
“We have a lot of girls that can really strike the ball,” said TerHaar. “It’s not really just our first couple of options, but our third and fourth option. We have a lot of girls that can score goals. Today, we just seemed to (strike gold).”
Katie Klunder scored the first goal just 2:18 into the contest, depositing a breakaway feed from Sarah Klunder. That simply opened the floodgates.
The Squires scored two more goals in the first half and tacked on three more in the second half to post a rare state finals rout.
Katie Klunder, a senior headed for Grand Valley State, made it 2-0 with 9:31 left in the half when she finished off a cross from Holsern, while Holsern made it 3-0 at the half on an unassisted goal in the 36th minute.
Calvin Christian (25-2-1) outshot WOLL-Everest 12-5 in the second half and did not let up on the throttle, as Holsern scored the next two goals off assists from Emily VanVliet and Katie Klunder, respectively.
Klunder scored the final goal with 11:55 to go, putting an exclamation point on a season where the Squires outscored the opposition 165-11, including 45-2 in seven postseason games.
“I can’t think of a more exciting way to finish up my high school career,” said Katie Klunder. “We dreamed of this, but didn’t know if we would really do it.”
Senior Lydia VerStrate notched three saves and freshman Allison Keizer made one stop in relief late in the second half, as Calvin Christian notched its 23rd shutout — one of the highest totals in state history.
The Lakers had a goal called back late in the first half, when Jessica Parry’s free kick from 50 yards out sailed over the Squires’ goalkeepers’ head. Game officials ruled that the kick should have been an indirect free kick instead of a free kick.
“I think that really hurt us, (it) took the wind out of our sails,” said first-year Lakes-Everest coach Katie Hearn. “I think in a way we almost gave up at that point.
Lakes-Everest had just one senior and for a fifth-year program playing in its second state final, the future looks bright.
“We knew that this was going to be a really tough game for us,” added Hearn. “We knew they had some offensive (weapons), and they were able to finish their opportunities. I think once they had that two, three-goal lead and we had the goal called back, then that had an effect on us.
The Lakers had six players that a were also members of WOLL’s Class D state championship girls basketball team back in March and two of those players were on three state championship in girls basketball and also members of the team’s 2010 girls soccer state championship.
“Some of these girls are not used to this (losing in a state final),” noted Hearn. “I’m hoping they can learn from this. They now know what it feels like (from this side). We’re hoping we can make it back here next year and that I’ll be holding a different trophy.”
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