BELLAIRE — The task would appear to be tall.
But the Bellaire boys soccer team is going into Wednesday’s Division 4 soccer state semifinal feeling like it has nothing to lose.
Despite a stellar season where they have a 24-1 record, and having gone farther in postseason play than any other soccer team in school history, the Eagles will most certainly be the underdog when they take on top-ranked Grand Rapids Covenant Christian in Cedar Springs. Yet, Bellaire isn’t daunted by having to go against the Chargers (21-1-3).
“I don’t think anyone expects us to be here,” said Bellaire head coach Brad Rowe. “Little old Bellaire, a public school. Public schools don’t usually get this far. We’re kind of playing with house money. We have no pressure. Most teams tend to look past us and hopefully Covenant Christian will do the same.
“The pressure is on Covenant Christian. They’re the No. 1 team in the state. We’re going in with the attitude to just go out and give it our best effort, leave it all on the field and play with a ton of heart. That’s what we’ve done until now and it’s worked for us. Hopefully it will work on Wednesday.”
It most definitely has, and that includes five postseason wins. Out of those five victories, three have come by one goal, a 1-0 win over Muskegon Catholic Central in the regional final on Friday being the latest. Rowe expects a similar low-scoring, defensive contest against Covenant Christian.
“They’re a very good defensive team, from what I understand,” said Rowe. “They’ve got an all-state keeper. Looking at their record, they just haven’t allowed a lot of balls in the net this year. Goals are going to be at a premium.”