Victory for Vikings in District Soccer
Photos and story by Alexis Mercer
On a warm June evening, the Vikings girls soccer team traveled to Newaygo to avenge its previous two losses this season to the Lions. But this time the winner would advance, the lower would end its season.
Newaygo started off strong in the first 10 minutes, finding a few opportunities to put the ball on net, including one laser to the cross beam by exchange student Alexandra Son. None of the chances transpired into points, however.
Tri County, on the other hand, waited patiently: their theme of the night. The advantage to playing a team three times in a season is the familiarity with the opponent. Tri County obviously came in well-coached and versed on the game plan.
Just past the halfway mark of the 1st half, that patience paid off with Viking Allison Johnson finding an opening and putting the Vikings on the board. The excitement got them rolling in the right direction and they never slowed down.
Leah Siefert scored Tri County's 2nd goal with 6 minutes left in the 1st half. But that was all for the scoreboard until 30:56 on the clock after halftime when Johnson dribbled up the field, beat a defender, got blocked by Keeper Barbara Toth and patiently found the rebound to tap it in.
For her third goal of the night, Johnson slammed it in with 21:08 left in the game. Despite the Lions' Alexandra Son breaking the drought with 12:19 left on the clock, Tri County would patiently win first touches and field advantage time and again until the final buzzer sounded.
"They beat us two times before in close games," said Viking coach Vik Matulis. "Every day has been a stepping stone. We played well last night. We had great shape on the field. Jayden Marovich was the MVP: she tore up the corner."
Tri County will face West Catholic at 4:30 PM on Friday, June 4th at Orchard View High School for the District Final game.
Coach Matt Painter reflected on the Lions' season: "Wow! What a season. Two years ago our girls soccer program only managed 3 wins. Then COVID turned life upside down. Our girls made this season a bright spot of the year with their team play, resulting in 10 wins and a second place finish in the conference! It has been a joy and an honor to spend time with this exceptional group of teens this spring. I can't wait for next season!"