The Ludington soccer team will be back in the state semifinals for the first time since 2001 after defeating Big Rapids 2-0 on Thursday in the Division 3 regional final at Clare.

Ludington will now take on Grand Rapids South Christian in the Division 3 state semifinals on Wednesday at Cedar Springs High School at 6 p.m.. The winner will advance to the state finals.

Ben Knoer started the scoring for Ludington at 15:45 left in the first half with an assist from Lucien Chasse.

The score remained 1-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Brayden Porter sealed the Oriole win when he headed in a corner kick from Sam Bandstra with 3:40 remaining, giving Ludington a 2-0 lead.

Goalkeeper Kyle Wendt picked up his ninth shutout of the year, stopping the one Big Rapids shot on goal.

“This is the fourth time we’ve been in regionals in the last five years, and it’s quite an accomplishment to get back to some of the tradition this program had in the late 90s and early 2000s,” said Ludington Coach Kris Anderson.

Anderson gave credit to his defense, which limited the Big Rapids attack with help from the midfielders.

“Defensively, we were really strong all night,” the coach said. “When you look at the one save our keeper had, a lot of credit goes to our defensive back four. They played really well and took away attacks Big Rapids had.

“Our midfield also dropped in and neutralized their attack, which really helped.”