MIDLAND — The Chemics’ turf hasn’t been a good formula for Traverse City West this year.
Midland’s artificial turf has seen the end for both Titan soccer teams, after the boys squad fell in last fall’s state semifinals.
Grand Blanc topped West 3-2 in Wednesday’s Division 1 girls soccer regional semifinal at Midland, but the Titans didn’t go down without a fight.
After the two teams combined for five goals in the first 40 minutes, the Bobcats were shooting blanks in the second half, thanks in large part to the Titans’ defensive effort. West held Grand Blanc without a single shot on goal over the last 40 minutes.
“We didn’t even have a shot on goal the second half, so credit Traverse City for coming out and playing a lot harder than we did,” Bobcats coach Greg Kehler said. “I think we sat on a 3-2 lead. We didn’t want to, because we thought the next goal could put them away. They locked down on us defensively and did a better job. We had our share of corner kicks, and they’re a very good team in the air. They’re just stronger than us in the air, and on those corners we just couldn’t penetrate.”
The Bobcats (17-2-4) struck early, with Annie Walker scoring her 34th and 35th goals of the season by the time 14 minutes had expired.
“I get some awesome crosses from my teammates,” Walker said. “I just found the gaps in the defense and made the run and shot.”
The Titans (17-2-2) got on the scoreboard with Erica Whiting’s blast of a long rebound with 15:34 remaining before halftime.
Allison Winterfield put Grand Blanc up 3-1 a minute and a half later, but West again drew within a goal on Kiley Kreple’s goal in the 34th minute.