The Sturgis soccer season came to an end at Harper Creek on Wednesday.
It was the opening round of the MHSAA Division 2 district, which the Beavers won over the Trojans, 8-0. The Beavers scored seven of those eight goals in the opening half of the game. While the score may not reflect it, the Trojans did play hard in the game and have some positives to take from the second half.
After allowing seven goals in the first 40 minutes and trailing 7-0 at halftime, Sturgis kept Harper Creek off the scoreboard for 22 minutes in the second half.
“That’s the way we wanted to show up in the first half, but mentally we didn’t get there right away,” Sturgis coach Jesus Hernandez said. “In the playoffs, it’s a different game and everybody knows it. The bus ride here was very quiet and we knew it was going to be a tough match.”
The first goal of the match came on a corner kick just a handful of minutes into the contest. It was scored by Mallory Flanders, who curved the ball from the corner into the back of the net at the 38:54 mark.
Then, just two minute s later, Lia Luchetti scored to make the game 2-0 at the 36:36 mark. The third goal was even quicker as Shelby Cushman scored at the 35:59 mark of the opening half.
Harper Creek’s next goal came at the 29:08 mark. This was scored by Rachel Meyer to make it 4-0.
Cushman scored her second of the game at the 10:46 mark, pushing the lead out to 5-0.
While Harper Creek scored plenty of goals in the contest, SHS goalie Skylar Strawser did make nine saves in the first half.
Cushman’s third goal came at the 1:15 mark of the opening half, making the score 6-0. Harper Creek’s final tally of the opening half was scored by Alyssa Smith with just 54 seconds remaining in the half.
This forced a second half, where SHS played much better defensively.
The eighth and final goal was scored by Emily Katz, which ended the contest.
Sturgis battled injuries throughout the season, but still showed up each match to play hard.
The Trojans end the season with an 0-15 record, but Hernandez believes they can be better moving forward with continued hard work.
“I’m still proud of them, we knew it was going to be a tough season and it was going to be critical for our seniors to keep it together,” he said. “I think we did an OK job of that. Our skills need to continue to improve and the girls know we have to continue to work hard in the off-season.”
Harper Creek moves on to play Vicksburg next Wednesday. Vicksburg beat Charlotte 8-0.
Gull Lake and Marshall will play in the opposite district semifinals.
“It’s definitely a season where we learned a lot, we accept it,” Hernandez said. “But we have to identify ourselves with a style of soccer where we can continue to get better.”
Strawser finished with 16 saves in the contest.
Three Rivers wins
Three Rivers won its opening round soccer matchup over Parchment on Tuesday, 9-1.
Summer Morrill found the back of the net three times for the Cats. Paige McDonald and Tori Thorbjornsen each scored twice in the match for Three Rivers while Kenna Cottingham and Emily Moore each scored once.
Amaria Currier made six stops in net for the Cats.
Three Rivers will take on Dowagiac, which beat Constantine 6-0 on Wednesday, in the district semifinals next Wednesday. That game will be played in Three Rivers.