For the first time in school history, the Muskegon Community College women’s soccer team is heading to the Final Four of the NJCAA Division 2 national tournament.
The Lady Jayhawks (16-3-1) pulled off an upset with a 2-1 victory over No. 2-seeded Jones Community College on Wednesday.
Iris Herald broke a 1-all tie with a sudden death goal late in the second overtime to earn the Jayhawks a spot in the semifinals, where they will tangle with No. 1-seeded Heartland Community College (Illinois) in Friday’s contest.
Jones CC scored a goal 17 minutes into the contest, but the resiliency of Coach Jeff Lohman’s team hung in there until they were able to produce tying and game-winning goals.
“We knew Jones was good and was going to dominate possession, but we also knew that if we could keep our defense shape and composure, that the longer we could keep them off the scoreboard the more frustrated they would get,” Lohman said.
With time ticking down, Sammy Hecht connected on a pass from Kendall Jones and beat the Jones CC keeper to knot the score.
MCC received stellar defensive play from Alexa Musk, Madi Paperhagen, Maggie Prins, Sara Zielinski and Maggie Holmes. Solid play from Jordan Noble and Kendall Jones was a key in the midfield.
Tara McGrath posted nine saves in net for the Jayhawks.
“With constant pressure on them almost the entire match, they stayed composed and continued to work even when we went down a goal,” said Lohman.
A victory on Friday would move the Jayhawks into the national title game.