Headed Toward A History-Making Finish

June 12, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Nine Grandville Calvin Christian seniors faced their final high school season this spring, and with it exciting possibilities.

Their team had won four straight league titles and looked good for a fifth. The Squires also had moved  into a different MHSAA division, with new playoff opponents and new championship opportunities.

It would've been easy to look far ahead. But those seniors knew better than to look past the first steps that have brought them to the season's final week for the second time in school history.

Calvin Christian knocked out two ranked teams in last week’s Regional – first No. 8 St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic 7-0 and then No. 2 Kalamazoo Christian 7-2. At No. 4, the Squires are the highest-ranked team left in Division 4 with only two more wins needed for a first MHSAA championship.

“We’ve known from the beginning that something special could be in order. Not in terms of advancing far in the tournament, but in having a capable team and taking every opportunity to play together,” Calvin Christian coach Tim TerHaar said. “What these seniors have done, they haven’t been consumed with a tournament run all season. They’re focused on going out and enjoying playing with each other.”

The Squires (23-2-1) can earn one more game together by defeating Muskegon Western Michigan Christian in Wednesday’s Semifinal at East Kentwood High School. Calvin Christian has never advanced to an MHSAA Final; this is the second time the Squires have made it this far, matching their Division 4 run in 2000. (Click for all Semifinal pairings.)

Don’t assume this run has been a product of merely moving into Division 4 (the team also played in Division 4 during TerHaar’s first two years, 2001 and 2002). Calvin Christian has won its league in 11 of TerHaar’s 12 seasons – although the Squires then frequently ran into six-time Division 3 champion Hudsonville Unity Christian or Grand Rapids South Christian during the tournament.

But the Division 4 road is tough as well, with obstacles like four-time MHSAA champion Kalamazoo Christian, which Calvin Christian lost to 2-1 after a 6-0 start this spring. The Squires were missing one of their best scorers for that game, but also had trouble capitalizing on offensive opportunities that did present themselves.

“Having played them and lost to them was a huge motivating factor for all of us,” TerHaar said. “In some ways, it could’ve been a blessing.”

Seniors Katie Klunder, Jenny Holsem, Riley Gortsema and Morgan Noordyke have played on the varsity all four seasons and bring a 73-14-5 career record into this week.

Klunder – who has signed with reigning Division II national runner-up Grand Valley State – has scored 51 goals this spring, tied for sixth in the MHSAA record book for one season. Her 75 points is third. The team has outscored its postseason opponents 36-2 and put a ball in net during the first five minutes of all five playoff games.

The team’s defense has been similarly record-setting. Calvin Christian has 21 shutouts – including 20 by senior goalkeeper Lydia VerStrate, with that total tied for third in the MHSAA record book for one season. In front of her are seniors Gortsema and Noordyke and freshman Morgan Buursma, and a strong midfield led in part by Holsem.

The Kalamazoo Christian loss taught them and their teammates a lesson about the importance of mental sharpness. And that was evident in the rematch Thursday, when the Squires immediately brought the attack.

“I think it speaks to the fact that we have nine seniors, and this is their chance – their last chance, really,” TerHaar said. “I’m pleased that haven’t taken anything for granted. They’ve made the most of every opportunity.”

PHOTOS: (Top) Calvin Christian senior Jenny Holsem (6) deflects the ball during Thursday’s Regional Final against Kalamazoo Christian. (Middle) Squires coach Tim TerHaar presents the trophy to his team after the 7-2 win over the Comets. (Photos courtesy of Calvin Christian soccer.)

Be the Referee: Soccer Offsides or Goal?

By Paige Winne
MHSAA Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

May 23, 2023

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment – Soccer Offsides or Goal? - Listen

Today we’re on the soccer field for another You Make the Call.

Team A has a throw-in near midfield. Team A’s No. 9 is clearly in an offside position when the throw-in comes directly to her. She collects the ball and kicks it past the keeper and into the goal. What’s the call?

Should the referee:

► Award an indirect free kick to Team B?

► Award a goal kick to Team B?

► Award a re-take of the throw-in to Team A?

► Award a goal to Team A?

If you said, "Award a goal to Team A" … you are correct, despite the goal-scorer being in a clear offsides position.

The soccer rulebook states that a player shall not be penalized for offsides if she receives the ball directly from a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in. It’s a legal play – and counts as a goal.

Previous Editions:

May 16: Track & Field Exchange Zones - Listen
May 9: Girls Lacrosse Self-Start - Listen
May 2: Baseball/Softball Overthrow - Listen
April 25: Fifth-Quarter/Third-Half Rule - Listen
April 18: Soccer Referee in Play? - Listen
April 11: Softball Strikeout - Listen
March 14: Basketball Instant Replay - Listen
March 7: Hockey Overtime - Listen
Feb. 28: Baker Bowling - Listen
Feb. 21: Ski Finish - Listen
Feb. 14: Swimming Touchpads - Listen
Feb. 7: In or Out-of-Bounds in Wrestling - Listen
Jan. 31: Over the Back - Listen
Jan. 24: Competitive Cheer Judges - Listen
Jan. 17: More Lines - Listen
Jan. 10: On the Line - Listen
Jan. 3: Basketball Measurements - Listen
Dec. 13: Pregame Dunks - Listen
Dec. 6: Gymnastics Judges - Listen
Nov. 22: Football Finals Replay - Listen
Nov. 15: Back Row Illegal Blocker - Listen
Nov. 8: Swim Turn Judges - Listen
Nov. 1: Soccer Referee Jersey Colors - Listen
Oct. 25: Cross Country Tie-Breaker - Listen
Oct. 18: Soccer Shootouts - Listen
Oct. 11: Safety in End ZoneListen
Oct. 4: Football Overtime Penalty - Listen
Sept. 27: Kickoff Goal - Listen
Sept. 20: Soccer Timing - Listen
Sept. 13: Volleyball Replays - Listen
Sept. 6: Switching Sides - Listen
Aug. 30: Play Clock - Listen
Aug. 23: Intentional Grounding Change
- Listen

PHOTO: An official raises his flag during this spring's Trenton/Pontiac Notre Dame Prep game. (Photo by Chris Mudd/National Photo Scout.)