The Warriors (16-5-1) did just the opposite of Spring Lake and Whitehall, pulling out a 2-1 overtime shootout win over Charlevoix (22-3-2) on Wednesday in the first round of the Division 4 regionals in Traverse City.
The Warriors will now face Leland on Saturday in the regional finals, with the winner advancing to the Division 4 state semifinals. Leland advanced by beating Grand Rapids Covenant Christian on Wednesday.
“This was a tough game and we were fortunate to get the win,” said WMC coach David Hulings, whose team made it all the way to the state semifinals last year.
“This was one of the best possessing teams we have faced. They outpossessed us and outshot us. But I thought our defenders did a great job and that kept us in the game to give us a chance.”
Evan Fles gave WMC a 1-0 lead with a breakaway goal eight minutes into the second half. Dylan Mines assisted on the goal.
“Evan was one-on-one with the keeper and put it away,” Hulings said. “It was what we talked about at half and it was a great quick ball by Dylan.”
Charlevoix followed up eight minutes later to knot the score at one apiece.
“We were having trouble clearing the ball and it cost us a goal,” Hulings said. “But, it didn’t end up costing us. We were able to finish with strong legs.”
Two 10-minute overtime periods were scoreless, leading to the overtime shootout, with five players from each team going one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper.
WMC won the shootout 5-4. Scoring for the Warriors were Will Deur, Mines, Chance Larson, Cal Robrahn and Owen Alfree.
Charlevoix missed wide left on its second shot in the shootout, which allowed WMC to run the table and clinch the victory.
WMC goalkeeper Michael Merz got the victory.
“We look forward to playing Leland on Saturday,” Hulings said. “Although we beat them earlier in the season 3-0, it was closer than that and they will want to show us what they have.”