By Ron Rop
Girls soccer coaches Jeff Lohman and David Hulings know exactly what they are up against in Wednesday’s state semifinal soccer games.
Oakridge will take on Unity Christian at 7 p.m. at Hope College. WM Christian will battle Calvin Christian at 6 p.m. at East Kentwood’s Crestwood Middle School.
At stake is a berth in Saturday’s state soccer finals.
“I’ve watched them play and I hope to stick around with them,” Lohman said of Unity Christian. “Our goal is to beat teams that we should beat and beat teams that we shouldn’t beat.”
Lohman would agree that Unity falls into that “teams we shouldn’t beat” category. Coach Randy Heethuis, a Muskegon native, has led his team into the state finals eight straight years and during that span won six state consecutive titles. Currently, they are ranked No. 2 in the state.
In the other half of the bracket, top-ranked Flint Powers Catholic takes on No. 4 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
Hulings went so far as to say, “our next opponent may be one of the best teams to ever play in a D4 tournament.”
That coming after Calvin Christian destroyed No. 3 ranked Kalamazoo Christian 7-2 in their regional championship game.
“Calvin Christian starts nine seniors and they are hungry to prove they belong in a championship game,” Hulings said. “We will have our hands full to say the least.”
However, he isn’t discounting his young Warrior team.
“But, we trained hard and we have five days off to rest,” Hulings said. “So, I am hoping we can put something together the players can do to slow Calvin down and give us a chance to play with them.”
In the other semifinal game, No. 6 ranked Clarkston Everest Academy takes on unranked Madison Heights Bishop Foley, the defending state champions.