Wildcats fall in State semi-final

Haley Hagen • couriersports@vineyardpress.biz
Mattawan’s Connor Burkett (11) fights for the ball during the first half of the State semi-final matchup with Forest Hills Northern.  The Wildcats’ chances at the championship ended with a 1-0 defeat here. Haley Hagen photo

   A long successful season came to an end this week for the Mattawan Wildcat soccer team. The team traveled to Holland High School to take on the 20-0-1 Forest Hills Northern Huskies on a cold and windy night in the state semi-final matchup.
   Midway through the first half, Mattawan’s Connor Burkett found Chad Harrison in the box, who took a shot on the goal that bounced off the crossbar, leaving the Wildcats scoreless. Mattawan goalie, Carson Foor, made several impressive saves during the game, including a stopped direct kick from the Huskies. It wasn’t until the opening half was winding down that the Huskies managed to lay in a perfect corner kick-header combo resulting in a 1-0 lead at halftime.
   The Wildcats tried their best to answer the goal in the second half. Burkett fought his way through the Huskie defense and was able to take a solo shot on the goal, but it was stopped by the Huskie goalie, and the Wildcats lost 1-0.
   Mattawan finished the season with an impressive 19-4-3 record. In all but three games, Mattawan held its opponents to one goal or less during the season.
   Forest Hills went on to win the State championship, 2-0, over Melvindale.


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