Anchor Bay soccer coach Kevin Grammens may want to bring defender Kyra Wolf to forward more often.
Wolf, who scored a late goal after getting a move up forward from defender against Eisenhower earlier this season, was brought up to forward for a second time with less than 10 minutes left in the Tars district championship game against L’Anse Creuse on Friday night at Chippewa Valley.
With the scoreless game in the second overtime, Wolf took a pass from Morgan Krupp and chipped a left-footed shot over the Lancer goalie and into the net with 5:58 to play. That goal was the difference in Anchor Bay’s 1-0 overtime win over the Lancers.
“I brought Kyra up front with six minutes left in the second half,” Grammens said. “I did it against Ike and she scored in that game. Normally she is on defense except for those two games. ”
The goal came against the Lancers’ backup keeper, who entered the contest late in the second half after starting keeper Kassidy Lanthier suffered an injury and had to leave the game.
“It was really unfortunate that their goalie got hurt,” Grammens said. “I feel for her because she’s a good keeper and played very well. Even their backup keeper played well. That’s a tough save to make for that keeper. ”
L’Anse Creuse coach Scott Perez added, “They played unbelievable, even with our starting goalkeeper going down. Us using a field player for the end of the game and OT, they played awesome. We gave Anchor Bay everything they could handle today. ”
Both teams had scoring opportunities in the opening half, with Tar goalie Avory Murray making three of her six saves in the first 40 minutes. Lanthier made six saves in the opening half.
“We felt we could win right from the get-go,” Perez said. “We knew if there was a year we could win, it was this year. We had enough pieces to put a scare in them. ”
Lanthier and backup keeper Natalia Stutz combined to make seven saves in the second half and overtime. They were complemented by a solid defense in front of them.
“What a fight from L’Anse Creuse,” Grammens said. “I knew they were going to come out strong. They weren’t going to come in here and lie down. This was their first time in the district finals, and they played us hard. ”
Anchor Bay was arguably the favorite heading into the match. As the match wore on the possibility of it going to penalty kicks, Grammens said he was confident his squad would still persevere.
“I was thinking about the Grosse Pointe North regional when North didn’t have one shot on goal and they won on PKs,” Grammens said. “We just had to find a way to score. If we go to PKs, it is what it is. We had 100 minutes to score before that.
“This is a special group of girls,” Grammens added. “When they tried out as freshmen, I saw the potential. All district titles are sweet. ”
The win improved Anchor Bay’s record to 13-2-3 overall and moved them into next Tuesday night’s regional semifinal at Rochester Adams, where they will play the winner of the district championship game between Rochester and Stoney Creek.
“It’s never easy to win a district,” Grammens said. “You never take anything for granted in life. I appreciate every day with this group on this team. It’s a journey and we will enjoy the moment. ”
The loss ended the Lancers’ season at 10-6-3 overall. Perez said he was proud of his team’s efforts all season.
“It’s the best game they’ve played,” Perez said. “They can hold their heads high, and we fought until the very end. We moved up a division this year (to the MAC White) and that prepared us for this game. ”
Record-setting goal scorer Rylee Gurley helped New Haven extend its season.
The senior scored four goals Friday to lead the Rockets to a 7-1 victory over Memphis in the championship game of the district tournament at Capac.
It was New Haven’s first girls soccer district championship.
Gurley has a school-record 48 goals this season. She also is New Haven’s career goals leader with 114.
New Haven scored 22 goals in three district matches. The Rockets opened the tournament with a 6-1 victory over Capac and then defeated Merritt 9-1 in the semifinals.
New Haven plays Bad Ax in a regional semifinal match at 6 pm Tuesday at Montrose.