By Keith Dunlap
Special for Second Half
WILLIAMSTON – Lansing Christian senior Kasey Jamieson scored nearly 200 goals during her terrific high school career. But it’s pretty obvious which one she’ll remember most: The last.
Playing in her final high school game Saturday, Jamieson scored what turned out to be not only the last goal of her career, but also the entire season in Division 4.
Her tuck inside the near post was the decider as Lansing Christian claimed its second consecutive MHSAA title with a 1-0 win over Kalamazoo Christian at Williamston High School.
“You can’t get much better than that,” Jamieson said. “It’s fun to end the year with a final goal. My final goal was in the state championship, and it was the final thing I’ll do at LCS. It’s pretty exciting.”
With 14:46 remaining the first half, Jamieson took a long pass from junior teammate Rilyn Ross in the left corner of the penalty box, beat a defender one-on-one and put a shot past the keeper to make it 1-0 Pilgrims.
It turned out to be the only goal of the game as the Pilgrims and Comets met in the Division 4 Final for the second consecutive season.
In 2017, Lansing Christian scored the first goal in overtime and thought it was on its way to the title before Kalamazoo Christian scored off of a corner kick with four minutes left in the second overtime period to force a shootout.
Lansing Christian ultimately prevailed in that shootout to win its first girls soccer title.
A year later, the Pilgrims won title No. 2 by holding on to the early lead through relentless pressure up front, winning balls in the midfield and playing stout defense on the backline.
Lansing Christian (20-3-2) outshot Kalamazoo Christian (20-3-4) by a 26-9 margin and had plenty of chances to increase its lead. But the game stayed 1-0 – although Kalamazoo Christian found a little life during the final 10 minutes with three corner kicks, which brought back bad memories for Lansing Christian head coach Joel Vande Kopple.
“That’s how they scored on us last year,” Vande Kopple said. “My stomach was up in my throat. But (goalie Lynn Cullens) and our defense were amazing. We didn’t give up a goal the whole tournament run.”
Lansing Christian indeed held on and now will say farewell to a senior class that will be hard to top in the future.
Jamieson, Cullens, Jessie Kruger, Sarah Voss, Alex Hanks, Jenna Li and Ally McHugh went to the MHSAA Finals three times, made Semifinals all four years and leave with two championships.
“It was a great way to send them off,” Vande Kopple said.
Sophomore goalie Jenna Blackwell made 25 saves in goal for Kalamazoo Christian.
“We battled to the end,” Kalamazoo Christian head coach Jay Allen said. “We made a few mistakes in the back there. In a game like that, you make one mistake and you lose.”
While disappointed over losing in the Final for the second straight year, one look at the roster offers a smile for Kalamazoo Christian.
The Comets graduate just two seniors off their squad, Carmen Katie and Madelyn Batts, and will return 10 sophomores and three freshmen.
“It’s a loaded roster, but what you have to understand is that those two seniors kept that roster together,” Allen said. “They brought the team together, led the team and got us to where we are. It was their leadership.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Lansing Christian’s Eliza Lewis (17) pushes the ball upfield as Kalamazoo Christian’s Mikayla Tiesman chases. (Middle) Karina Deering keeps possession for the Comets.
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 Overtime - Listen
Soccer games in the postseason have one big noticeable difference from the regular season. In the postseason, games cannot end in a tie – so games go to overtime and possibly a shootout.
Here’s how that works:
If the game is tied at the end of regulation, it will go to overtime, which is two 10-minute periods played in its entirety. There is no sudden death or golden goal winner. If there is a winner at the end of the 20 minutes, that team wins and advances to the next round. If there’s still a tie, we move to a shootout.
In the shootout, the teams alternate taking five penalty kicks. If it’s still tied after five kicks, they each kick until the tie is broken.
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