Whitehall’s stellar defense stands tall in 1-0 regional soccer victory

Local Sports Journal

The Whitehall Vikings needed just one goal to win Tuesday night’s Division 3 soccer game.

That’s because the Vikings’ defense, led by Jared Jaekel, was stellar all night long in a 1-0 victory over Tawas Area to advance to Friday’s 6 p.m. regional championship game.

Whitehall (20-3-2) will face Elk Rapids, an 8-2 winner over Comstock Park.

“It was a pretty scrappy first half,” Whitehall coach Bryan Mahan said. “We didn’t played great in the first half … there was no rhythm.”

In the second half, Luke Westrate, with assistance from Jake Knowlton, accounted for the game’s lone goal. That goal came just before the midpoint of the half.

The Vikings were able to move the ball back and forth across the field before Knowlton’s shot was saved, but not controlled by the goalkeeper. Westrate pounded home the rebound for a 1-0 lead.

“Our defense really kept them outside,” Mahan said. “They were able to bring the ball up the sides, but were able to keep them out of the middle. Most of their shots were from way out.”

Whitehall had an 8-5 advantage in shots.

“It was just a fantastic defensive effort,” Mahan said. “That is a high-scoring team.”


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