Leland, Elk Rapids Prepare for State Semifinals in Boys Soccer
Two local teams will be competing in the MHSAA Boys Soccer State Semifinals on Wednesday night.
Leland (19-3-1) will play against Muskegon Western Michigan Christian (14-8-2) in the Div. 4 semifinals at 6 p.m. at Crestwood Middle School in Kentwood.
This is the Comets third trip to the state semifinals in the last five seasons and first under second-year head coach Rob Sirrine.
This year’s run has been an amazing turnaround from a season ago when the Comets finished 9-14-1 and lost in districts. The Comets are set up to have success for years to come too as this year’s team features just four seniors.
One of those seniors, Daniel Resendiz-Nunez, helped lead the way in the team’s two regional games by scoring three of Leland’s four goals.
“Last year really wasn’t the best year for me but I put in the work in the summer and I knew that I just had to show the underclassmen what it takes to play for Leland soccer,” Resendiz-Nunez said. “I want to bring the state title home so I’m pushing myself so much more.”
Leland faced Muskegon WMC earlier this season and picked up a 1-0 win.
Elk Rapids (18-7-2) will face Holland Christian (18-1-3) in the Div. 3 semifinals at 6:30 p.m in Cedar Springs.
This is the Elks’ third consecutive trip to the state semifinals. They’re looking to advance to the state championship for the first time in those three trips.
Elk Rapids started the season 0-5 against a string of the state’s top programs before going 18-2-2 the rest of the way.
“We’ve really played some of the best teams that we can and that’s why we challenge ourselves,” said Elk Rapids head coach Nate Plum. “It really pays off at this time of year.”
One of those early losses to a top team was actually against Holland Christian. The Maroons won a close game over the Elks 3-2.
“[They’re a] good team and a good program,” Plum said of Holland Christian. “They’ve got a lot of history of being one of the top teams in the state. The only thing we can do is go in there and give it our best effort. We can only control ourselves and that’s what we’re going to do.”