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Mt. Pleasant Eyes Regional Final Bid

MT. PLEASANT – Behind the play of 12 underclassmen, the Mt. Pleasant girls soccer team is continuing its most successful stretch in program history.

With a 3-1 victory over Cadillac on Saturday, the Oilers (16-4-1) claimed their third district championship in four years and fourth in six seasons.

Now this young lineup that features only two seniors is looking to make program history when it takes on Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (14-3-4) Tuesday in a Division 2 regional semifinal.

A win Tuesday would give Mt. Pleasant just its second regional final bid and first since 2014, when the Oilers dropped a 1-0 contest to Grand Rapids Christian.

“Early on in the season, we were going through a lot of changes,” coach John Bunting said. “As far as I would say… that we have been the most comfortable, if not even in my career of coaching. I think the girls have the most confidence in themselves. They understand the game and the style of play that we want.”

After shifting from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 formation, the Oilers, who finished runner-up in the Saginaw Valley League, have found their stride, winning eight of their last nine and outscoring opponents 32-15.

“My freshman year, we had a really large senior class, and this year we only have two. So you can’t really go off of experience, but we do still like attacking the players,” junior goalkeeper Ally Wentworth said. “We changed our formation, but I think we still have that same drive and mentality to go out and try to win the games.”

Tuesday’s game is slated for 5 p.m. at Coopersville.