For the last two years the Girls Varsity Soccer Team has traveled to Troy Athens High School to take on University Liggett in the state semi-finals. Two years ago the Pilgrims prevailed while last year Liggett took the spoils. The series would continue this year as both teams looked to advance to the state finals.
The last three games the Pilgrims played against Liggett they gave up the opening goal. That would not be the case this time as the Pilgrims started the game on the front foot and almost scored thirty seconds into the game when Kasey Jamieson darted into the Liggett penalty area and rifled a shot that the goalkeeper did well to save.
Jamieson would leave the goalie helpless seven minutes in when a lung-busting run from Rilyn Ross saw her take the ball to the goalline and drop it back for the onrushing Jamieson. With her weaker foot and with a defender draped all over her Jamieson ripped the back of the net to give the Pilgrims the lead.
For a minute the Pilgrims looked stunned as if they didn’t know if the goal was allowed. After the confusion it became clear that the Pilgrims had earned the lead and were determined not to give it up.
Five minutes after the opener Jamieson would score the game’s second goal. A perfectly weighted pass from Jamieson found Alex Hanks sprinting down the left wing. Hanks cut the ball back and crossed to an open Jamieson at the top of the penalty area. With great precision Jamieson took the awkward ball and curled it into the far corner of the Liggett net rendering the goalie helpless yet again.
The two goal cushion seemed comfortable until the last minute of the half when a long free kick from Liggett was heading into the upper part of the Pilgrim net. Junior goalkeeper Lynn Cullens was positioned perfectly and was able to tip the ball over the bar to keep the Pilgrims 2-goal advantage heading into halftime.
The second half saw Liggett attack more frequently but the Pilgrims managed the game well and limited the number of chances while also looking very dangerous on the counter attack. Sarah Voss would have the Pilgrims best chance of the half when she was sent in along on goal coming in from her left wing position. With only the goalie to beat she mishit her shot and watched it sail wide.
As time slowly ticked away the Pilgrims backline held firm and wouldn’t be breached by the usually prolific Liggett attack. The win brings the Pilgrims back to the state finals for the second time in the last three years where they will face a fast Kalamazoo Christian team who beat Muskegon Catholic in the other semi-final.