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.)

McBain Northern Michigan Christian's VanNoord Building on Career Excellence

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

May 13, 2024

Jada VanNoord entered her senior season this spring on the MHSAA girls soccer career goal list with 108 over her first three seasons at McBain Northern Michigan Christian, and after scoring 40 with 63 total points in 2023.

She also was just shy of making the career points list after making the single-season list as a sophomore with 52 in 2022.

VanNoord has signed to continue her career at Cornerstone University.

See below for more recent additions to the girls soccer record book, and click the heading to see the record book in full.  

Girls Soccer

Sophomore Macy Freeman became the first from Otisville LakeVille Memorial to be listed in the girls soccer record book when she scored all eight goals in her team’s win over Flint Carman-Ainsworth on April 29, 2022, and she was added for the second-highest scoring game in history with 10 goals last May 12 against Marlette. Freeman also was added for 43 goals total as a sophomore and 39 as a junior, and she entered this season on the career goals list as well with 81.

Brighton Charyl Stockwell’s Cassie Hall earned a pair of record book entries for her offensive performance as a junior in 2022. She made the single-season goals list with 55 and single-season points list with 60.

Although her 224 saves as a senior in 2022 fell just shy of making the single-season list, Parchment goalkeeper Gabrielle Novak finished her career with 713 over three seasons and 51 games – with 2020 canceled because of COVID-19. She was joined that spring by senior Kasey Leckie, who made the single-season goals list with 32.

Grace Hewitt became the first West Michigan Aviation Academy player to be listed for career goals, as she tallied 75 from 2019-22 (with 2020 canceled). She also was added for 32 as a senior.

Remus Chippewa Hills’ Karley Densmore made 36 saves against Big Rapids on April 25, 2022, tied for fifth-most in one match, and her 292 over 17 games for the season rank third. Additionally, teammate Hayley Gomber was added for five assists in a game against Mason County Central on April 7, 2022. Both were juniors.

Kelila Rustin made the single-season saves list in 2022 with 251 over 17 games. She was a sophomore at Ionia.

Allison Johnson earned Howard City Tri County’s first girls soccer record book entry in 2021, scoring 30 goals over 19 games. She graduated in 2023.

Schoolcraft’s Hannah Thompson totaled 18 record book entries over three varsity seasons, despite missing her sophomore year which was canceled due to COVID-19. The 2022 graduate five times had a single-game high of eight goals, and as a senior she bested her state record for points with 99 – despite falling just a few goals short of her state record in that category, with a second-place 83. She finished with 130 goals, second all-time, over a combined 54 games, and a fifth-highest 240 points. She’s playing at Eastern Michigan.

Sterling Heights 2023 graduate Mikalah Lewis earned a pair of record book entries over her final two seasons. The first was for 34 goals as a junior in 2022, and she tied for third-most assists in a game on April 10 of last season with six against Center Line.

Lily Usher capped her three-year varsity career at Owosso last spring with 60 more saves than anyone over a career in MHSAA history. She tops that list with 773 over 49 games, with her 268 as a junior in 2022 added as well – and that season she also tied her single-game high with 35.

Layne Palmer had one of the busiest goalkeeping nights in MHSAA history April 21, 2023, when she saved 43 shots from Utica Ford during a 6-0 loss. The Port Huron senior’s saves remain tied for third-most for one game.

Grace Graham capped her Laingsburg career in 2021 by leading the Wolfpack to its first Regional Final appearance – and made the record book for 39 goals and also 51 total points.

Cheboygan’s Kenzie Burt is playing college basketball at Aquinas College, but she left her mark on her high school soccer program as a senior in 2023. Burt made the record book with 33 goals and 53 points total.

Jessica Peters earned Dryden’s first girls soccer entry since 2012 with 48 goals as a senior in 2023, over 19 games. She’s continuing at St. Clair County Community College.

Lydia Kruis and Litzy Ramirez capped their three-season Comstock varsity careers last year with performances among the best all-time in the sport. Among 10 record book entries, Kruis was added for 74 goals (third all-time) and 83 points (sixth) as a senior and 158 goals for her career (ninth). Her eight goals last May 17 against Buchanan tied for fourth-most in one game. Ramirez graduated with seven record book listings, with her six assists against Buchanan that game tied for third-most with her 47 for the season setting the MHSAA record. Her 86 career assists tied for ninth.

Jaidyn Veldhouse led Grandville Calvin Christian to another successful run last spring. A senior now, she made record lists with 37 goals and 52 points as the Squires finished 17-1-3. She will continue at Saginaw Valley State.

Isabella Pool’s junior season last spring included a highlight against Marshall. Although her Coldwater team took a 5-0 loss, Pool saved 39 shots – fifth-most for one match in MHSAA history.

Lutheran Westland added its second athlete to this record book, and first since 2005, as Madilyn Webb finished her three-season varsity career with 48 goals and 53 points last spring and 105 goals over her three seasons. She also scored 33 goals as a junior and seven in one game against Brighton Charyl Stockwell Academy. She’s continuing at Concordia-Ann Arbor.

PHOTO McBain Northern Michigan Christian's Jada VanNoord (20) steps into a kick during a May 1 game against Clare. (Photo courtesy of the Cadillac News.)