Buchanan wins VanDenBerg title
For the second time in three years, the Buchanan Bucks have brought home the VanDenBerg championship, hosted at Niles High School.
Through a combined clean sheet from goalkeepers Cora Schau and Kayla Burkhard, and a opening minute goal from senior Savannah Ehlert, Buchanan defeated the Brandywine Bobcats 1-0 to bring home the silverware for another year.
This is only the third time since 2006 that Buchanan has won the championship
Buchanan, who also defeated Brandywine last Wednesday 3-0 in BCS Athletic Conference action, were looking to win the Championship for the third time as well.
Buchanan junior and captain Erica Mitchell found Ehlert just seconds in the title match as the Bucks looked to get up early.
“Everyone has overlooked Buchanan soccer,” Buchanan coach Katie Coules told her team before the championship match. “The girls knew they had to come out strong and send a message. Before every game we tell them to test the goalie early. We want to test them and get on the board quick.”
The Bobcats kept pushing back and had chance upon chance to tie the game on the second half, but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
“We have been working on that for quite some time now,” said Brandywine coach Katie Kovac about her team’s inability to score. “We pinpointed what we needed to do and that was put the ball in the back of the net. We have good crosses. Everything is right there. We just need to finish.”
Niles defeated Cassopolis 3-0 in the consolation match held at Brandywine High School.
Junior Dayleigh Miller had a hat trick to lead the Vikings in earning their third win of the season, and gain a little momentum heading into the SMAC tournament on Monday.
Junior Goalkeeper Avy James kept the shut out intact with five saves.
Alexia Martinez and Cassie Luczkowski scored for Brandywine, Grace Rydwelski assisted Martinez’s goal, and Makenna Bowen had seven saves to earn the shutout.
Viking freshman Grace Florkowski scored her first goal since being injured against Three Rivers on April 12 from an indirect free kick. Senior Jaycee Myer had the assist. Buchanan’s Mitchell evened the score at 1-1 in the 27th minute. With the match tied at 1-1, Mitchell scored the only penalty kick for either team as the Bucks advanced.
BUCHANAN 1, NILES 1
(Buchanan advanced on penalty kicks)
N: Grace Florkowski 15th minute (Jaycee Myer assist).
BU: Erica Mitchell 27th minute.
Niles 8 (Avy James 5, Bailee Kessler 3)
BRANDYWINE 2, CASSOPOLIS 0
BW: Cassie Luczkowski.
BW: Alexia Martinez (Grace Rydwelski assist).
Brandywine 7 (Makenna Bowen)
Cassopolis N/A (Madison Suseland)
NILES 3, CASSOPOLIS 0
N: Dayleigh Miller (Florkowski assist)
N: Miller (Delayne Mudd assist)
Niles 5 (Avy James)
BUCHANAN 1, BRANDYWINE 0
BU: Savannah Ehlert 1st minute (Erica Mitchell assist)
Brandywine 8 (Bowen)
Buchanan 5 (Schau 2, Burkhard 3).