MISportsNow’s Top Stories of 2019: No. 4 Traverse City West Boys Soccer Reaches State Finals
As we approach a new year and a new decade, MISportsNow is looking back at the top 10 area sports stories for 2019. This is the seventh in a 10-part series.
After posting postseason upset wins over top-ranked Okemos and third-ranked Novi and riding a three-month long unbeaten streak, the Traverse City West boys soccer program advanced to its first MHSAA Division 1 state final since winning the 2006 state title.
Facing four-time state champion Troy Athens in the state final at Comstock Park High School on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, West fell 4-1 in overtime.
West’s appearance marked the third straight year that an area program was playing for a state final, as Leland captured the 2018 Division 4 championship and Ludington finished runner-up in Division 3 in 2017.
“We’ve talked from the very beginning about how we wanted to see how far this journey could take us,” West coach Matt Griesinger said after the game. “All credit to Troy Athens. That’s a great side and they are well deserving, but super proud of the boys who just stuck in there and demonstrated that there’s good soccer that happens up north, too.”
Three Titans landed on the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association all-state teams, with junior forward Tony Gallegos and senior midfield Grant Holfels earned Division 1 second team honors while senior defender Caleb Kinney was named to the third team.
West ended its year with an 18-5-2 record.