TRAVERSE CITY — In the span of three days Charlevoix has been at both ends of the spectrum.
After advancing to Thursday’s Division 4 girls soccer regional championship game by virtue of a shoot out win over Leland, the Rayders found themselves in another shoot out against Muskegon Western Michigan Christian. This time, however, the Rayders came out on the short end.
Western Michigan Christian scored on all four of its shots in the shoot out — Charlevoix only connected on one — as it clinched a spot in Wednesday’s state semifinals with a 3-2 victory at the Coast Guard Fields. It was the second consecutive year the Rayders were eliminated in the regional by the Warriors, following last year’s 2-1 setback in the regional semifinals.
“That’s probably the best game I’ve seen our girls play, in all honesty, all season,” said Charlevoix coach Peter Scholten. “They played phenomenally well. Everything was going according to plan until the shoot out. It’s just tough. It’s a tough way to go out.”
Charlevoix (20-6-1) never trailed in the contest as it scored the first goal of the game in the 15th minute, then went ahead 2-1 with 23 minutes remaining in the second half after Western Michigan Christian had pulled even 15 minutes earlier. Kylee Scholten had Charlevoix’s first goal, burying a shot that came after a misplayed ball by the Warriors defense. Ellie Way knocked home the second goal on a penalty kick that came after Kelsey Engstrom was taken down in the box.
Alyssa Benedict had both goals in regulation for Western Michigan Christian. She made it a 1-1 game minutes into the second half, then added a second equalizer with just under eight minutes remaining on a one-touch off a long, arching shot into the box by teammate Mykayla Denison.
That sent the contest into two, 10-minute overtimes, where both teams had good opportunities, but couldn’t get anything into the back of the net.