Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, Mich., continued to dominate Michigan high school girls soccer as the Crusaders won the state Division III championship—their second straight title and ninth in 11 years.
The Crusaders won the championship in dramatic fashion as Maddy VanDyke scored the winning goal in the second overtime period, giving Unity a 2-1 victory. The Crusaders trailed 1-0 at halftime but tied the score on a goal just past the halfway mark of the second half, setting the stage for VanDyke’s game-winner.
The team had to overcome a great deal of adversity on the way to its state championship, losing two key players to season-ending knee injuries during the state tournament, Crusaders’ head coach Randy Heethuis said.
“We had to move some people around to fill some holes (because of those injuries),” Heethuis said. “It’s a credit to the girls that they made those adjustments and picked up the slack.”
Unity Christian finished the season with a 24-1 record, outscoring its opponents by a margin of 124-9. The Crusaders shut out 18 of their opponents during the season.
“Every year is a little different because you have different players, but we continue to do the same things and pursue excellence in everything we do,” said Heethuis, a member of Fairway Christian Reformed Church in Jenison, Mich.