By Ron Rop
Local  Sports Journal

It didn’t seem to matter one way or the other.

With the wind or against the wind.

The Western Michigan Christian Warrior girls soccer team scored two goals in each half on a windy day at Warrior Field on Saturday in a 4-0 victory over North Muskegon. The Warriors captured the Division 4 district crown with the victory and will remain home for regional competition starting Tuesday night.

riksen heads to net

WMC’s Alexys Riksen heads toward the net during Saturday’s Division 4 district title game against North Muskegon. Riksen scored a goal in the second half in the Warriors’ 4-0 victory. Photo/Randy Riksen.

“We play a good game on the ground so the wind doesn’t affect us that much,” WMC coach David Hulings said. “Today, we moved the ball very well on the ground.”

Not only did the Warriors score four goals, but also rang three shots off the crossbar and one off the goalpost.

Freshman Jessica Kinnucan led the Warriors with two goals, both in the first half. Sophomore Alexys Riksen and junior Katie South each scored a goal in the second half.

WMC (15-4-2) came out with a couple of good scoring chances early in the first half with the wind at its back. Kinnucan scored with 26:04 left in the half with a shot that slid past NM goalkeeper Makayla Keur and rolled toward the net. A Norse defender was able to get her foot on the ball, but could not keep it from entering the net.

The quality scoring chances continued for the Warriors with Julie Merz ringing a shot off the post then firing a shot that sailed just over the crossbar. After two more balls off the crossbar, the Warriors scored again.

Allie Langeland lofted a corner kick that sailed over Keur and landed near the foot of Kinnucan, who redirected the ball into the net.

The game remained 2-0 for much of the second half. It wasn’t until the game’s final 6 minutes that WMC was able to scored again.

A crossing pass from the right side by Mykayla Denison landed in front of the Norse goal. A NM defender, Keur the goalkeeper and Riksen all came together with hopes of playing the ball. Riksen was able to punch the ball out of the crowd and into the net.

A perfectly placed shot by South completed the scoring for WMC. Kinnucan sent the ball to the front of the goal, where South chipped a rainbow shot high into the net.

“North Muskegon never gave up,” Hulings said. “My hat is off to them … they kept coming at us.”

WMC will face the winner of the Traverse City St. Francis district winner at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Warrior Field. The other regional semifinal, at 5 p.m., will pit Grandville Calvin Christian  against Hart.

The TC St. Francis district final features Harbor Springs vs. Charlevoix. On Friday, Hart moved into the regional tournament with a 9-1 victory over McBain Northern Michigan Christian. Also, Grandville Calvin Christian defeated Covenant Christian 8-0 to win the NorthPointe district title.