tern Christian girls’ soccer
HULL-The Western Christian girls’ soccer team had a slow start to its game against West Sioux in Class 1A Region 3 soccer Tuesday, May 30, but the Wolfpack picked up the pace in the second half and advanced to play MOC-Floyd Valley in the semi-finals.
The first goal of the contest was scored at the 25-minute mark off the foot of Jordyn Marra about 5 feet in front of the net off a pass from Erica Bousema. The score stayed at 1-0 for halftime.
In the second half, the Wolfpack got off to a much quicker start and did not take long to put the game out of reach. At the 55-minute mark of the game, Makenna Kooima found the back of the net, assisted by Bousema. Two minutes later, Madison Byl found the back of the net off a pass from Kailey Heemskerk. The final two goals were scored by Kooima and Kaylee Mulder at the 73-minute mark and the 75-minute mark.
Coach Jocelyn Nollmeyer was pleased to see her team advance to the next round.
“We’re moving on. Really that’s all that matters,” she said. “We moved the ball around, really tried pushing the ball to the corners and keeping it in our attacking third. We had several different scorers, which is always important to me, and we were able to get a lot of girls some playing time. We were even able to push our outside defenders up to support our mid-fielders.”
Nollmeyer noted the competition level increased in MOC-Floyd Valley, which beat cross-town rival Unity Christian 3-2 also on Tuesday, May 30. She said her team has things to work on before they faced the Dutch Friday.
“We need to continue to move the ball quickly from one side to the other and put all our focus on finishing. We had nine corner (kick) opportunities. (But) We had great crosses that we fell short on finishing. That’s what we need to fix prior to our next match,” Nollmeyer said.
The Western Christian offense took 40 shots in the contest with 24 of them coming on goal. April Van Tol was the keeper and had no saves.
Western outlasts MOC to advance to regional final
HULL-Western Christian had one of, if not its best, defensive performances of the year and the Wolfpack needed it to defeat MOC-Floyd Valley 2-0 in Class 1A Region 3 girls’ soccer playoff action Friday, June 1.
After a scoreless first half and staying tied at 0-0 for 61 minutes of play, Western Christian was able to find the back of the net off an unassisted goal by Makenna Kooima. Four minutes later, Emma Gulker tallied a header off a corner kick by Emma Bousema for the 2-0 final.
“As I think back to our game tonight, I heave a sigh of relief at our performance. It felt like we dominated the game tonight. Despite the heat and the wind (90-plus degrees with a 15-mile-per-hour wind from the south) my girls passed with purpose, possessed the ball through the middle and also the flanks, took quality shots and fought for the ball from defense to offense,” said Wolfpack coach Jocelyn Nollmeyer.
But Nollmeyer said the biggest difference was on the defensive end, holding the Dutch scoreless throughout the game.
“My defense played one of their best games of the season. They were anticipating passes, meeting the ball and then finding the feet of their teammates,” Nollmeyer said. “We had other opportunities to score, but that has been our story all season. I’m more than pleased with two goals tonight and it was an entire team effort to get those two.”
That was because Western Christian was missing a couple key players due to injury.
“Several new players stepped in and played important roles as we missed two outside middles due to concussion and knee injury. It was an entire team effort,” she said.
April Van Tol was the keeper for the Wolfpack and had three saves. Western Christian advanced to play top-seeded Gilbert in the regional final Monday in Denison.