The time has finally arrived.
The final weekend of the 2022-23 school year with the culmination for the softball, baseball and girls soccer finals at Michigan State University – all on one complex.
Girls soccer will again take place at DeMartin Stadium and feature two games Friday and two Saturday.
All teams have navigated different routes to reach the season’s final weekend with hope of hoisting some championship hardware.
Below are the 2023 state finals:
ROCHESTER STONEY CREEK (25-1-1) VS. HUDSONVILLE (19-2-2), 4 p.m. Saturday: Over the course of the season, there were over 40 schools that were listed at times in the top 15 or honorable mention of the Division 1 rankings. Both Stoney Creek and Hudsonville remained in the top 10 all season and have played brutally-tough schedules all season. Every team Stoney Creek has played in the postseason was listed on the rankings chart This has the markings of a one-goal classic and don’t be surprised if overtime occurs. Stoney Creek handed Rochester its only loss and Hudsonville handed Northville its only loss. Let the coin flip commence … and it’s …
PICK: Rochester Stoney Creek 2, Hudsonville 1 (2OT)
EAST GRAND RAPIDS (18-2-3) VS. GROSSE POINTE NORTH (9-7-7), 4 p.m. Friday: North is making its second trip to the finals and first since 2008. East Grand Rapids is in for the first time in nearly two decades. The Norsemen have ridden the upset trail and incredible goalkeeping and defensive play mixed in with timely scoring. East Grand Rapids returned a bulk of its players and welcomed in a dynamite freshmen class that has put this program back in the spotlight. Offense wins out this time.
PICK: East Grand Rapids 3, Grosse Pointe North 1
HUDSONVILLE UNITY CHRISTIAN (20-1-4) VS. GROSSE ILE (17-2-4) 1 p.m. Friday: Grosse Ile is in the Final Four for the second time and making its first appearance in the state finals. Top-ranked Unity Christian is in the Final Four for the 19th time and making its 15th appearance in the state finals over 21 years, and has not lost since April 14 (a 1-0 setback to D-2 Richland Gull Lake). Grosse Ile is the first downriver girls soccer team to reach the season’s final day, while Unity Christian is 10-4 all-time in state finals matches, including a loss to Williamston a year ago. The Crusaders have the talent to compete in D-2 or even D-1 and have outscored the opposition 32-0 in the tournament.
PICK: Hudsonville Unity Christian 4, Grosse Ile 1
KALAMAZOO CHRISITAN (18-6-0) VS. CLARKSTON EVEREST COLLEGIATE (8-7-1), 1 p.m. Saturday: Everest struggled in the regular season scoring only 12 goals and finishing near the bottom of the CHSL AA Division. Somehow the Mountaineers have climbed out of the depths to make a Cinderella-type run. Kalamazoo Christian is in its 12th Final Four and has been the state runner-up in 2018, 2019 and 2022 in recent years. The Comets have the experience to complete the job this year.
PICK: Kalamazoo Christian 3, Clarkston Everest Collegiate 1
(Dan Stickradt is Web and Content Editor for the Michigan Soccer Network, founded in 2022, and now a 30-year veteran in the Michigan media circles. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @LocalSportsFans or via text at (248) 884-1051.)