Leland Bests Kalamazoo Hackett for First State Finals Berth
HOLLAND – Jesus Calderon-Balcazar tallied a pair of goals including the game-winner in the 54th minute to lift No. 2 Leland to a 3-2 win over No. 3 Kalamazoo Hackett in a Division 4 state semifinal Wednesday in Holland.
The win punched Leland’s first-ever ticket to a state final, as Wednesday’s semifinal was the first for the school since 2010.
“It feels great, just getting the two goals for the team, just getting the win for the team, and keeping the momentum up until the last minute,” Calderon-Balcazar said.
Leland (23-1-3) will now face defending Division 4 state champion Ann Arbor Greenhills on Saturday at either Comstock Park or Novi. Greenhills shut out No. 4 Genesee Christian 1-0 on Wednesday and has one state title and three state runner-up finishes since 1992.
The Comets opened Wednesday’s contest with an early 2-0 lead on goals from Jack Munoz and Calderon-Balcazar and led 2-1 at the half.
“We’ve come a long way, faced a lot of adversity,” Leland senior Nick Saffell said. “This has always been our goal in mind. So, we’re just happy to be here right now.”