Hart falls to defending state champions in Division 4 soccer regional matchup

By Ron Rop
Local Sports Journal

It wasn’t the start the Hart Pirates were looking for the in the Division 4 soccer regional semifinal on Tuesday night.

Far from it.

Grandville Calvin Christian scored three goals in the game’s first 5:32 and cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Pirates. The loss not only ended the Pirates’ season, but was the final game in the 15-year coaching career of Brenda Seguin.

“My very first regional in 2000 we played Calvin Christian and we lost 6-0,” Seguin said. “They have a super team. They are quick and they are quick to the ball.”

And the defending Division 4 state champions.

The Squires scored just 59 seconds in the game when Emily Van Vliet found a seam in the Pirate defense and fired a shot past goalkeeper Natalie Switaj.

Two minutes later, Natalie Curry was taken down in the goal box and on the penalty kick, Camie Rietberg made it 2-0.

Slightly more than 2 minutes later, Van Vliet lofted a crossing pass from the right side and Carley Sikkema redirected into the net. Just that fast, it was 3-0.

“To score three early goals like that, we came out and scored one in the first minute last that was just a huge influence to relax and little and settle in the match,” Calvin coach Tim TerHaar said.

Hart did show some life in the minutes that followed but could not score. Lara Salazar had a good scoring chance with 28:00 left, but shot the ball just wide of the net.

“After they scored those three goals, we did settle down and we did play some soccer,” Seguin said. “We looked a lot better and we had some shots on goal.”

The half ended with the Squires leading 3-0.

In the second half, Van Vliet lofted a corner kick to the goalmouth that Rietberg was able to hit her head on. The ball bounced around and ended up in the hands of Switaj, but as she bobbled the ball, she stepped into the net.

The Pirates’ best scoring chance of the second half came with 26:20 left when Macayla Greiner got loose in front of the net. However, Calvin goalkeeper Jordyn Postema broke up the scoring chance.

Calvin finished off the scoring with goals by Whitney Koets on an assist from Hilary Curry and Laura Ramaker, whose centering pass from near the left end line glanced off the head of a Pirate defender and into the net.

Calvin Christian had a 17-4 advantage in shots.

Hart finished 16-8.

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