Back Row L-R: Connelly Hefferan-Nordlund (Newaygo), Sofia Briggs (Newaygo), Jaxi Long (Newaygo), Grace Painter (Newaygo), Courtney Grant (Lakeview), Karley Densmore (Chippewa Hills), Kyra Couch (Big Rapids), Melinda Burgess (Chippewa Hills), Claire Snyder (Kent City), Mia White (Fremont), Mia Clemence (Fremont), Katie Williams (Big Rapids), Julia Waltz (Big Rapids), Paige Lofquist (Reed City) Front Row L-R: Lynnea Briones (Newaygo), Hailey Holmberg (Grant), May Shepard (Tri County), Grace Erdman (Tri County), Allison Johnson (Tri County), Delani Gould (Tri County), Leah Sieffert (Tri County), Ella Tucci (Big Rapids), Rebecca Allers (Big Rapids) Not Pictured: Sydney Higgins (Grant), Addie Shields(Fremont)
Packers place 3 and Tigers post a pair
Newaygo had a pretty remarkable season on the soccer field coming a goal short of a conference title and collecting the school’s first ever District title while composing a 16-4-1 record that included 11 shutout wins and outsourcing their opponents 67-20.
Fremont finished the season 10-9, including a 5 game win streak that finished the regular season and included a game in the conference tourney.
Grant shook off a rough April to go on a 4-2-3 streak before falling in their District opener.
Post season honors came out last week and we asked the coaches to share a few words about the young women whose play on the field proved to be exceptional.
Newaygo - Coach Matt Painter
Connelly Hefferan-Nordlund, Jr.-Connelly played center midfield for us all year long. Connelly helped to control the midfield and is a great passer. Throughout the year she passed very well with both Lynnea and Jaxi as they worked to advance the ball to our forwards. Connelly ended the year with 7 goals and 14 assists and was honored with All Conference and All District awards.
Sofia Briggs, Jr.- Sofia is a Captain who anchors our backline as our center back. I believe that she is one of the best center backs in the area and is a major reason why we had 11 shut-outs on the season. Sofia rarely makes mistakes, reads the opponent's attack, and has an uncanny ability to know just when to make a tackle to take away the ball. She not only tackles well, but keeps her head up to make excellent passes to our midfield which allows us to maintain possession and begin our own attack. Due to her outstanding play this season, Sofia earned not only All Conference and All District awards, but she also earned All Region honors and All State Honorable Mention.
Jaxi Long, Sr.Jaxi Long is a Captain who has played on the varsity soccer team all 4 years of her high school career. Jaxi controls the midfield and has developed a great connection with both Connelly and Lynnea as they work together to pass around the opponents. Jaxi ended the season with 15 goals and 18 assists. Whoever we find next year to take over her center mid position will have very large shoes to fill. While she will be missed greatly by our team, we have been blessed to have her! She was a major piece of the success of our program this season! Jaxi earned All Conference and All District honors this season.
Grace Painter, Jr. Grace is a Junior Captain who primarily played as forward for us this season. While Sofia took care of business for the team on the back line, Grace ensured that our attack was successful as well. Grace ended the season with 34 goals and 14 assists. Grace is an aggressive player who is not afraid of contact and who is willing to fill any role on the team. She connected passes very well with both Jaxi and Connelly as they worked together to build attacks. Grace earned All Conference and All District honors as well as All Region and All State Honorable Mention.
Lynnea Briones, Jr.Lynnea is a Junior who played a holding midfielder for us almost all year long. Lynnea is a natural defender but is also adept at passing. Lynnea was essential for our team in terms of connecting our backline with our midfield. While she only had 4 assists on the year, her foot was probably on the ball at some point in the vast majority of our attacks. Lynnea earned All Conference and All District awards due to her play this season.
Barbara Toth Jr. Barbara is a Junior who played goalkeeper for us all season long. Barbara's confidence has steadily grown each season and she aggressively defended her net this year! She helped us secure 11 shut-outs and had 193 saves on the season. In the past, Barbara has also wanted to play on the field. However, this year, Barbara really embraced the fact that she is a great keeper who has become an essential part of our team's success this year! While Barbara was an honorable mention All Conference player, she also earned All District and All Region honors as well as All State Honorable Mention.
Fremont - Coach Steven Vissia
Mia White, Sr. Mia was a team captain and played center midfield. She finished with 10 goals including 3 game-winning goals while adding 3 assists
Mia Clemence, Fr. Mia played forward and was our leading scorer netting 17 goals including a pair of game winners. She also tallied 9 assists.
Addie Shields, Jr. Addie was one of our center backs. Her speed, physical play, and ability to communicate effectively really stabilized our back. (1 assist, Junior/Captain).
Riley Chase, Fr. Riley played forward and was our 3rd leading scorer with 13 goals (2 game-winning goals) and 4 assists.
Grant - Coach Daisy Gomez de Leon
They are all GREAT players that pushed this team forward. They all bring a different strength to the team and were key players to the development of the team as a whole.
Hailey Holmberg, Jr. Hailey is extremely fast, intelligent, and differs from most center backs because she looks to play out instead of constantly clearing the ball.
Sydney Higgins, Sr. Sydney simply owns midfield in every way. She will win 50/50 balls all day, neutralize other players, and start plays.
Carli Fryling, Sr. Carli is such a skilled player both offensively and defensively. She will try to take on an entire backline and isn't scared of taking a shot and for that reason she is dangerous anywhere on the field.