Lansing Christian needed just the first half on Tuesday against Royal Oak Shrine Catholic to advance to Friday’s Division 4 regional final.
The Pilgrims scored three first half goals on their way to a 3-0 win. Lansing Christian (20-1-1) will play Plymouth Christian after Plymouth defeated Ann Arbor Greenhills in a shootout in the first game of the night at Lansing Christian High School.
“Our main focus on the game was to come out intense,” Lansing Christian Joel Vande Kopple said. “When you go up against a top-quality team with home fans behind you, you know you need to come out and play hard.”
Junior Nick Jamieson had the first goal for the Pilgrims. The forward launched a shot that hit off the Shrine Catholic keeper’s hands and had enough momentum still on it to run into the back of the net.
“I saw the goalie come out and I knew that he wasn’t going to be ready for a shot that far out,” Jamieson said. “I was right on the goal line (after the deflection) and it felt like forever just waiting for that ball to cross.”
Jamieson had an assist on the second Lansing Christian goal, scored by senior Jacob Lyon. The third goal was netted by senior Evan Dunsmore.
“It was about getting comfort and getting the first punch of the game and we did exactly that,” Jamieson said.
With a win on Friday, the Pilgrims will be two wins away from their second state title in three seasons.
“This is a group that was sophomores when we won the state championship two years ago and then they lost in the districts last year so they feel like they have a little bit of unfinished business,” Vande Kopple said. “You’re going to go as far as your seniors take you and this group of seniors is tough to beat. Not only are they skilled, but they’re our hardest workers too.”