Local Sports Journal

The Spring Lake boys soccer team is two victories away from a return to the Division 2 state finals.

And to make things really interesting, the Lakers’ next opponent will be East Lansing, the team they lost to in last year’s state title game.

Spring Lake advanced to the Division 2 regional finals Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Forest Hills Northern at East Lansing High School.

East Lansing defeated Bay City Western 5-0 in the other regional semifinal.

The rematch between Spring Lake and East Lansing will be Thursday at 7 p.m. on the Trojans’ home field. The winner will go on to the state semifinals.

“It doesn’t matter who is in front of us – we’re going to do our best to win the game,” said Spring Lake Coach Jeremy Thelen.

Spring Lake broke a 0-0 halftime tie against Forest Hills Northern with goals from Lucas Ribiero seven minutes into the second half and Kyle Zietlow at about the 10 minute mark.

Goalkeeper Joe Czajka made seven saves to record the shutout for Spring Lake.

Thelen said his team kept a calm demeanor after the scoreless first half, which helped seal the victory.

“I think the experience from last year’s tournament helps,” Thelen said. “We keep the same even keel through games. I think Forest Hills was putting some pressure on themselves at halftime to put us away, but we played a smart game.”