Belding’s fast start dooms Kelloggsville


By Chip Burch • Last Updated 1:36 pm on Wednesday, May 03, 2017

BELDING — A quick two goals gave Belding’s girls soccer team the cushion it needed.

Belding used those two goals, which all came in the first half, to beat the Wyoming Kelloggsville Rockets 4-1 in an intermittent rain Monday.

Belding’s Kyleigh Kazmerski, left, turns with the ball while being chased by Wyoming Kelloggsville’s Elizabeth Batumawukuze during the teams’ game Monday.

“We just played great,” Belding coach Matt Bailey said. “We stuck it out through these crappy conditions but the girls played great. They were passing the ball, they were talking out there and it resulted in a couple of goals.”

It took Belding (4- 4 overall, 3- 2 O-K Silver) almost the entire first half to get its first goal, but when it did, the scoring came quickly.

In the 30th minute, Jessica Wittenbach scored after a scramble on the right side of the Kelloggsville goal. Just seven minutes later, Kyleigh Kazmerski scored on a penalty kick to give Belding a lead.

“In the games past, we’ve had a couple of games where we came out slow so we had a couple of games where we were working a little fast-er,” Bailey said. “Our main thing is getting something going in the first five minutes. That’s what they did today. The energy was there and even with the cold conditions they played great and sucked it up.”

Wittenbach scored the third goal just four minutes into the second half on a penalty kick that she got a second try at because one of the Kelloggsville (2- 3- 2 overall, 1- 3- 1 O-K Silver) players entered the penalty area too soon.

Then Kazmerski finished Belding’s scoring in the 58th minute, converting a long pass from Candice Strause into a goal.

Belding’s Altheia Jones, right, and Wyoming Kelloggsville’s Alexia Jaramillo collide while going after the ball during the teams’ game Monday.

Kelloggsville got a late goal when Carolyn Garcia tipped in a corner kick from Gredys Hernandez-Zelaya, but it was the only goal they got. Kelloggsville finished with just three shots on goal.

“The defense, that’s the heart and soul of this team,” Bailey said. “I have so much faith in them and I know that once the ball gets back in the area my defense is going to bail us out every time. It’s nice having a great defense with great speed and a great group of four girls that work together and play together so greatly.”

Goalkeeper Kristen Balis made just two saves on the day.

Kazmerski said it was “my team” that helped her score two goals.

“They just got me the ball and I was able to score,” she said.

Belding will play its next game Wednesday against Grandville Calvin Christian at Rudness Field.

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