Lansing Christian falls to Kalamazoo Christian in OT

PORTAGE — Mia Judd and the Lansing Christian women’s soccer team had a plan.

And for the most part, that plan worked in their top-10 showdown against Kalamazoo Christian in a Division 4 regional semi-final.

The No. 3-ranked Pilgrims spent the majority of their time folding but not breaking the pressure they faced throughout Tuesday’s game at Portage Northern.

But the only time they broke proved to be the difference as Lansing Christian ended their season with a 1-0 overtime loss to the No.7 ranked Comets.

Kalamazoo Christian scored just over 2 minutes into overtime while advancing to Friday’s regional final.

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“We knew they pressed really high and pressed really well together and liked to drive teams deep,” Lansing Christian first-year coach Tommy Ziolkowski said. “Our whole game plan was to sit and bend but not break. Eventually we ended up breaking. That’s football.

“We were looking to catch them on the break. We got a bit of pace that I don’t think they were ready for until they saw it and dealt with it. We did everything as we could. They were just a little bit better today.”

Lansing Christian's Evelyn Lewis attempts to clear the ball from the Pilgrims' defensive third during a Division 4 Regional Semi-Final on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at Portage Northern.

Lansing Christian had his best chances in the second half to counter and try to break the scoreless tie. Judd, who scored more than 50 goals this spring, and the Pilgrims failed to break through in those cases while closing the season with an 18-3-1 record.

“Our whole game plan was to play around that first line of pressure (from Kalamazoo Christian),” Ziolkowski said.

“When we were able to do that, we had plenty of moments where we could have caught a few. Again, it just wasn’t our day in front of goal.”

Ziolkowski was proud of how the Pilgrims fought back on Tuesday and gave themselves the opportunity to keep their season alive.

And Judd was pleased with what Lansing Christian has accomplished this spring.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Judd said. “At the start of the year there were a ton of new girls and we came together as a team and cheered on the younger girls. There was a lot of leadership throughout and we built ourselves into a strong team , which allowed us to compete against many teams, including Division 1 schools and we won the GLAC and districts.”

Contact Brian Calloway at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

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