By Andrew Johnson
The Warriors lost in the state semifinals for the third time in five years on Tuesday with a 3-0 loss to Montrose in a Division 4 state semifinal at Comstock Park High School.
WMC Coach David Hulings said after the game that he’s responsible for the loss.
Hulings did not take credit for the fact that his team had another great season – 16-7-3 overall – and won another district and regional championship along the way.
“I didn’t have them prepared and I think a coach has to get his team prepared after a big win and I didn’t get them prepared,” said Hulings, whose team was outstanding in regionals, upsetting great teams from Kalamazoo Christian and Grandville Calvin Christian.
“I didn’t get them ready after the win against Calvin and ready to bounce back. I need to be better.”
The Warriors started out sluggish on Tuesday, giving up a goal only 7:40 into the first half when Amber Wing ripped a shot from 10 yards out to give Montrose a 1-0 lead.
WMC controlled possession and the pace for the rest of the first half, but only had one scoring chance when Jessica Kinnucan ripped a shot just wide of the net 15 minutes into the game.
After being down 1-0 at halftime, Hulings switched to a more aggressive attack, but ultimately it didn’t work out.
The Rams extended their lead when freshmen Emma Gipe found a streaking Paige Renshaw, who scored to put the Rams up 2-0.
Seven minutes after the Renshaw goal, Ellory Barnette found the back of the net to end the scoring.
“We knew we had to push forward and make some adjustments,” Hulings said. “We gave up the two goals when we pushed forward. I wasn’t worried about that. We were either going to be tied 1-1 or lose 3-0.”
After the game Hulings reflected on how hard his team has worked this year.
“This group of girls did something that no one else has done by beating Calvin Christian after losing four times (in a row to Calvin in the state tournament), and I can’t say enough about them because they work harder than anyone.”