Ludington Back in the State Semifinals

LUDINGTON – The Ludington boys soccer team finds itself back in the state semifinals for the first time in 16 years.

The 16th-ranked Orioles will take on state power Grand Rapids South Christian in a Division 3 state semifinal at Cedar Springs on Wednesday.

After dropping down from Division 2 this year, Ludington is back in the state semifinals since its 2001 state title run. The Orioles are no strangers to the state’s top stage, with the state title in 2001 and runner-up finishes in 1997 (Division 3) and 1994 (Class B).

Ludington has gotten to this stage thanks to a stout defense. Through four postseason games, the Orioles have allowed just one goal, handing losses to Manistee (2-1), Shelby (2-0), Boyne City (1-0) and Big Rapids (2-0) along the way.

“All of us have given like our whole lives to soccer for the past 14 years,” senior Zach Peterson said. “It’s been soccer, soccer, soccer spring and fall, even winter for us. I think as a team, it’d be really cool, great feeling after 16 years to bring home that trophy again. So I’m really looking forward to that.”

“Looking back and looking ahead, our freshman year, we knew this year would be a year to remember,” added senior Caleb Schoon. “As the journey continues, we just keep adding to that.

Ranked fourth, Grand Rapids South has made five appearances in the Division 3 state title game since 2007, winning it all in 2010, 2012 and 2015, with runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2013.

The Sailors have made quick work of tournament foes this fall, besting Kentwood Grand River Prep (8-0), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (3-2), Wyoming Lee (4-2), Hudsonville Unity Christian (2-1) and Dowagiac (5-1) to reach the semifinals.

Wednesday’s game is slated for a 6 p.m. start.