High School Soccer

Lynden Christian soccer wins in first round of district playoffs

Lynden Christian's Shaye Brandsma (14) and Haley Hollander (12) celebrate Hollander's goal during their 3-0 victory over Cedar Park Christian on Monday, Oct. 26. Hollander scored twice.
Lynden Christian's Shaye Brandsma (14) and Haley Hollander (12) celebrate Hollander's goal during their 3-0 victory over Cedar Park Christian on Monday, Oct. 26. Hollander scored twice. The Bellingham Herald

The Lyncs could do no wrong as they dispatched the Cedar Park Christian Eagles 3-0, earning their first playoff win of the 2015 season.

Lynden Christian took the momentum early and held it throughout the game. They completed daring passes and played with aggression for all 90 minutes. As a result, the Eagles played most of the game on their heels as the Lyncs advanced relentlessly into their opponent’s territory.

Lynden Christian scored its first goal in the 10th minute of play. Senior midfielder Morgan Wandel booted a tricky shot into the upper right corner of the goal, just eluding the opposing goalie’s grasping fingers.

“That early goal gives you a boost,” Lyncs head coach Brent De Ruyter said. “We understood the game plan and that early score let us get creative.”

De Ruyter urged his team to attack early and often, which is basically what they managed to do during the first half of play. Lynden Christian put six shots on goal over the first 45 minutes, while holding its opponents to only two shots in the first half.

Lynden Christian also managed to complete 70 percent of their passes in the first half and dominate possession.

“We moved the ball really well,” De Ruyter said. “And our spacing was excellent.”

Yet despite their statistical domination, Lynden Christian entered the second half only up one goal.

Enter Haley Hollander. The senior forward scored twice in the second half, in the 49th minutes and the 62nd. Her athleticism put the game out of reach and sealed the big win.

“Haley is incredibly athletic,” De Ruyter said. “Anytime we get her into open space she’s able to finish.”

Hollander’s first goal was a 15-foot strike that whizzed pass the goalie and slammed into the back of the net with ringing force.

Lynden Christian’s offense was surely the star of the show, but its defense also played an excellent game.

Cedar Park was never able to counter, or gain any momentum offensively. Every attempt was met by the snarling teeth of Lynden Christian’s defenders.

Junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Heeringa was especially impressive. While Cedar Park didn’t manage many shots on goal, whenever they did Heeringa was there to block it. She ended the game with five saves, including several clutch blocks at the game’s end.

Lynden Christian continues its playoff campaign Wednesday, Oct. 28 at the King’s Knights, in Shoreline.

De Ruyter said his team would focus on preparing for a turf field, which is what the Knights home field is made of. Lynden Christian has only played on turf once before this year, he said.

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