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Fremont falls to Freeland in 2024 girls regional soccer final

Packers finish with 16-5-1 record after 2-0 loss to the Falcons in memorable school year for Fremont soccer.

Photos courtesy of David Walls

It was a special year for the Fremont soccer program when you consider what the girls and boys squads were able to accomplish.

Like the boys squad, the Packers girls advanced to the regional finals.

Fremont could not muster much on the attack and fell to Freeland, 2-0, in a Division 3 regional title match at Clare’s Brookwood Athletic Complex.

Fremont ends the season with a 16-5-1 record, along the way winning the girls’ first district championship since 2009.

Fremont coach Steve Vissia said he will remember the improvement made by the girls from beginning of the season to the end.

“They were intentional about improving every day, had a goal in mind, and went out and accomplished it,” he said. “We weren’t the most talented group but their hard work paid off.”

Freeland (15-4-5) advances to next Wednesday’s 6 p.m. state semifinal at Cedar Springs, where the Falcons will take on perennial powerhouse Hudsonville Unity Christian (20-1-1). Unity Christian is the reigning state champ in Division 3 and the Crusaders have captured 11 Division 3 championships since 2005.

On Tuesday, Fremont made the trip to Clare and came away with a 3-0 regional semifinal victory over Howard City Tri County on the strength of Mia Clemence’s first-half hat trick.

On Thursday against Freeland, the Packers had trouble generating scoring chances. Freeland outshot Fremont, 12-2.

The first half was back-and-forth with very few scoring opportunities for either team and they went into the break scoreless.

Freeland’s Reese Conlee scored 14 minutes into the second half to break the scoreless tie. One minute later, Mia Nietzke added the Falcons’ second goal.

Fremont’s Hallie Snyder made 10 saves, while Freeland’s Adelyn Senkowski stopped both shots she faced.

The future could be bright for the Fremont girls soccer program, but nothing is ever promised.

“We have a lot of young quality players for sure. However, every season is different and chemistry on any team is crucial,” Vissia said. “If the girls are willing to focus on the team above themselves, the future is very bright no matter the win-loss record.”

Three players on Fremont’s girls soccer team were members of three district title squads this school year, also including volleyball and basketball: Clemence, Snyder, and Taylor DeKuiper.

Vissia coached both the girls and boys teams for Fremont soccer. In the fall, he guided the Packers’ boys squad to a 21-2-1 record with West Michigan Conference and district titles. His boys team lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Alma in the regional final at Big Rapids.

“It was a great year for Fremont soccer overall. Both programs set school records for victories: 21 (boys) and 16 (girls),” Vissia said. “The wins are clearly nice but we try to emphasize the effort and process along the way, not the results. 

“I’m so thankful to have coached two teams that played so hard, with integrity, and were others-focused and enjoyed playing together.”

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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