CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. — It's crazy to think that five years without a state championship appearance is considered a drought for the Unity Christian girls soccer program.
The Crusaders have won ten state titles since 2005 but haven't played for a state championship since 2016.
On Tuesday night, the team looked to change that and punch their ticket to East Lansing taking on Boyne City in the Division 3 state semifinals.
Unity Christian would outshoot the Ramblers throughout regulation but the game would go to overtime without a goal scored.
In the first ten-minute overtime period, sophomore Brianna Rose would score on a deep free kick to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
However, with just three minutes left in the second overtime period, the Ramblers would score on a corner kick to knot the game at one.
We would go to penalty kicks with each team getting five shots at the goalkeeper.
Unfortunately for the Crusaders, only three shots would be needed as Boyne City would net all three and Unity Christian would be unable to beat Ally Herrick in net.
The Ramblers would come away with the 2-1 win to advance to the state finals but head coach Randy Heethuis isn't disappointed in the team effort.
"I'm sure we outshot them for the game and we had corners," Heethuis said after the game, "but to Boyne City's credit, the only thing that matters is the scoreboard and they got the equalizer there and they won in PKs, and yeah, they're moving on."
Heethuis also says the eight seniors on the roster have helped pave the way for the future of the program.
"It's been a few years, we wanted to get back there, we were close, three minutes away from getting back there," he added, "but that's what these seniors did, they brought us back or at least very close to where we want to be."