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Girls Soccer

Newaygo Defeats Tri-County to Win CSAA Title

NEWAYGO - Mother Nature had a flair for the dramatic, setting up a matchup of conference unbeatens on the final day of regular season soccer matches in Newaygo on Friday evening.

In a game that was originally postponed due to lightning midway through the first half back on April 19th, the Newaygo Lions defeated Tri-County on Friday night 3-2 to win the Central State Activities Association regular season championship.

At the time of the postponement back in April, the game was tied 1-1 with fifteen minutes to play in the first half. That’s where things picked up on Friday, and the Lions wasted no time breaking that tie, on a goal by senior Connelly Hefferan-Nordlund. Newaygo took a 2-1 into the halftime break.


Midway through the second half, Tri-County’s Savannah Thompson scored to tie the game back up at 2-2.

It would stay that way until a Newaygo free kick with about 12 minutes left in the game. The initial shot on goal was stopped, but the Lions’ Lynnea Briones was in a perfect position to put the rebound into the net for the game-winning goal.

The Vikings had two good looks at tying the game late in the second half but could not get another shot past Lions’ keeper Barbara Toth.

“Our senior group, just settles people,” said Lions’ Head Coach Matt Painter. “They know what to do in big moments. So, I think that was probably one of the big differences for us.”


The conference title is Newaygo’s first in girls soccer in over a decade, a thrilling win for a group of seniors that have been on runner-up teams each of the past two seasons.

“I really love it,” said Hefferan-Nordlund. “I’ve been playing with most of these girls my whole life. So, to be successful, you know, it’s a nice thing.”

“This is a really big moment for us,” added Newaygo senior Grace Painter. “Ever since I’ve been a freshman, I know this is something that we’ve wanted and we’ve hoped for.”

“It’s really meaningful that this year we were able to come up, and step up, and win conference [for the first time] in a really long time,” Lions senior Sofia Briggs said after the game.

Newaygo (13-0-1) will now hold the top seed in the CSAA Conference Tournament, which begins next week. Tri-County (9-1-1) will be the second seed.

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