Before Gerrit Huizinga set up a corner kick early in the second half, he already knew where he wanted to put the ball — and where his brother Griffin would be.
“We actually do have a little thing that we do,” Gerrit said. “I just hit it to the back post, and I know he’s going to get there and be aggressive and get it in. It’s just a little trust system.”
Griffin Huizinga put home the go-ahead goal off his older brother’s corner, and Gerrit Huizinga scored Greenwood Christian’s other two goals in a 3-1 boys soccer victory against a stubborn Greenwood club Monday.
The defeat was a tough one for the visiting Woodmen, who have dropped all 15 of their matches this season but took a 1-1 tie into halftime against the favored Cougars (11-2-1), ranked 13th in Class A.
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“We made a couple of errors there at the end and left a couple of people open, and we wound up paying for it,” Greenwood coach Dan Weber said.
Greenwood Christian controlled the action for most of the afternoon, but it struggled to capitalize on those chances early. Gerrit Huizinga finally got the Cougars on the board midway through the first half when he pounced on a ball that had squirted past Greenwood keeper Colten Feller and poked it into an open net.
The Woodmen fought back, though, and took advantage of a narrow window at the other end to tie it. Greenwood Christian goalie Gabe Vessely came out a little too far to challenge an attacker, and when the ball bounced past him Cole Mahan was there to put it home with 10:18 to go before the break.
After halftime, the Cougars re-established the upper hand, putting consistent pressure on the Woodmen defense. On their seventh and final corner kick of the day, the Huizingas linked up for the go-ahead goal with 30:18 left.
Gerrit Huizinga added an insurance tally on a free kick from short range with 18:23 to go, a goal which seemed to crush Greenwood’s spirit a bit.
“When you haven’t won, and you’re tied in a game and then they get a goal, sometimes you tend to get your head down a little bit,” Weber said. “We’ve got to keep motivating them and keep them going, but they always play hard.”
Greenwood Christian coach George Huizinga was impressed with how much of a challenge the Woodmen presented on Monday.
“They’ve had a tough year,” he said, “but for those guys to have that type of attitude and not get discouraged says a lot about their character.”