The Forest Hills Central girls soccer team came out strong after halftime on Thursday and scored the game's only goal off the foot of junior Addi Tack just over nine minutes into the second half in a 1-0 win over Rockford to take the division one district championship.
"Unfortunately we didn't start with the intensity that we usually have that we needed," head coach Ashley Ludtke said. "We were beat to the ball a lot in the first half and made some adjustments going into the second half and started playing a little more of our game and got the outcome that we wanted."
The stellar second half play is not new for the Rangers.
While Tuesday's 3-0 semifinal win over rival Forest Hills Northern was a different type of game, FHC scored all three of its goals after the break in that game as well.
"At halftime we talk as a team, the coaches wait to come in," senior defender Whitney Currie said. "I think that is such a strong thing to do as a team because we find our mistakes first and we grow as a team rather than just be told what to do by our coaches, we find it ourselves and it allows us to adapt during the second half so we can keep getting better as the game progresses."
One of the strengths of this Forest Hills Central team is experience.
Five of their 11 seniors were part of the state semifinal team two years ago.
"We know each other as a team probably more than other teams that didn't get to play together last year," senior midfielder Megan Clayton said. "We weren't allowed to do a lot of team activities because of COVID but we were already together, we already were really good friends with each other so we had the team chemistry before the season even started."
The Rangers pick up their 16th win of the season and their 15th clean sheet with the shutout.
"It is super exciting senior year," Currie said. "You don't want to go home, we want to make it to the state championship and especially with the year that we've had, every win, every game we get to play is just an opportunity and we realize how blessed we are to have it."
The Rangers are moving on to the regional next Tuesday at Grandville against the winner of Portage Northern and Portage Central who play on Friday.