East Grand Rapids, Mich. – The Grandville Bulldogs advanced to the District Championship game for the first time since 1999 with a 5-2 win over the Zeeland Chix in the District One Semi-Finals on Saturday, May 12 at East Grand Rapids High School.
An early fourth quarter goal by senior Ally Plasman on the 6-on-5 advantage stood as the game winning goal, while sophomore Chloe Graverson scored two of her three goals in the game in the final 60 seconds to seal a berth in the District Championship.
“Ally Plasman, kid just scores in big games,” Assistant Coach Harrison Watt said. “We haven’t played a single big game she hasn’t scored in. When you’re talking about seniors and setting an example, between her attitude and ability to deliver when we need it, that’s hands down what you need.”
Senior captain Julia Veenkamp also scored in the game, and finished with a single game team-season best eight steals against the Chix to go with a pair of assists and two drawn exclusions. Graverson also added five steals, while junior Aubrie Scott had four in the contest.
“I’m really proud of that defensive effort,” Head Coach Mitch Fountain said. “At half we had only allowed two shots on goal. Obviously they were going to get a bit desperate and find a way to get more in the second half, but emotionally and physically we answered the bell at that end of the pool.”
In goal, senior captain Rachel Veenkamp fought off two of three five meter penalty shots taken and made eight saves to go with two steals in her 19th victory of the year.
“Exceptional,” Watt said. “What else do you want me to say?”
The Bulldogs take on the state’s top ranked Hudsonville Eagles in the district finale at 4:45 at East Grand Rapids High School. Right now, the Bulldogs are guaranteed a top two seed at the West Regional Tournament at East Kentwood on May 18-19 with their berth in the District Title game. The winner gets the #1 seed next weekend.