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GIRLS SOCCER: Bishop Foley edges Lansing Christian to win D-4 title

Game Info

Soccer - Girls - 6/18/2011 

Lansing Christian 1
Madison Heights Bishop Foley 2
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WILLIAMSTON — Summing up Saturday afternoon’s Division 4 state championship game, Madison Heights Bishop Foley girls soccer coach Aaron Miller was very succinct in his comments.

“Two words: Erin Weide,” Miller remarked. “That’s all that needs to be said.”

He couldn’t have been more right.

Coming off a hat trick in the state semifinals, Weide came up huge again for Bishop Foley on Saturday, scoring the game-winning goal with 2:11 left to play and sending the Ventures to their first state title in eight years with a thrilling 2-1 defeat of Lansing Christian in a match played at Williamston High School.

“This is such an amazing feeling,” said an emotional Weide, a four-year starter and team captain, in the moments after the final whistle blew. “It was a great way to end the season, not to mention my whole career here at Foley. I still can’t believe what just happened.”

Attacking the net with ferocity from the very first minute of the match, Bishop Foley (19-6-2) took an early lead when Weide fed sophomore Lauren Cross for a goal that put the Ventures in front 1-0. Lansing Christian (20-1), which was undefeated heading into the state finals, tied things up before halftime on a goal by freshman Kristin Gomez.

The second half was played at a feverish pace, with each team having numerous solid scoring opportunities in the final 25 minutes of action. The intensity kept practically the entire capacity grandstand on the edge of its seats throughout.

The Ventures had a pair of point-blank shots on net, one at the 20:14 mark and the other at the 17:38 mark, that both failed to convert. Rachel Fischer, Bishop Foley’s standout junior goalie, made a tough save with just under 14 minutes on the clock and Lansing Christian had a shot hit the crossbar and then the far right post before Fischer eventually knocked it away with 10:48 left. The best chance to score Lansing Christian had in the closing 10 minutes came at the 8:50 mark on a corner kick, but once again Fischer was there to make the save, the last of her seven stops.

Bishop Foley finally hit paydirt when Krystal Starling found Weide on the right side of the box and she kicked it over the shoulder of the Pilgrims’ keeper into the right corner of the goal.

“I knew I had to score on that play because the mindset was that we didn’t want to go to overtime,” she said. “The second I saw it go in, I went wild.”

Weide finishes her senior year with 18 goals and 10 assists. She will be playing in college at Adrian next spring.

Despite not having raised a state championship banner since 2003, Bishop Foley has the most crowns in state history. Saturday was the Ventures’ 12th title on the girls soccer pitch, third in the last decade.

Of the nine seniors on the 2011 team, four of them played on squads that advanced to the state finals in 2008 and 2009.

Miller has nothing but love and respect for the girls on his team.

“This was just an incredible group,” he said. “They believed in themselves, they believed in this coaching staff and they believed in each other. Today was the end result and it was magical.”

It was a grand day all the way around for the Bishop Foley community, as the Ventures also brought home a state championship on the baseball diamond on Saturday.

Last Updated: 6/21/2011 9:53:17 PM EST

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