Sam Decker

Rockford varsity soccer shuts out Jenison in last home game

June 3, 2010 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The seniors on the Rockford girls varsity soccer team won’t play at Rams Stadium ever again. Wednesday night, May 26, as they wrapped up their conference tournament run there, they left their final mark on the pitch by beating Jenison 5-0. The 12th-graders, most of whom have played together on teams for at least a third of their lives, stole the show in their second rout of the visiting Wildcats, scoring all five goals. Nine of the 10 players were on the field as the clock ticked off those final seconds. Defender Katie Purvis—who was injured in the Rams’ first game against Jenison on April 23 and faces surgery this summer—cheered madly from the sidelines. “It was fun to watch them end the game together,” said Coach Amira Ponne, who has coached all but one of the seniors since their freshman year. “They came off smiling and hugging one another. It wasn’t sad; it was celebratory. They have played together their whole lives. It’s a big part of their childhood memories, which go back to the soccer field, and of course in high school, that includes Rams Stadium. They showed their leadership in the game and how strong they are as a class. They can get the job done. The underclassmen and juniors are really going to need to step it up next year.” Ponne began her coaching career at Rockford four years ago as the junior varsity coach with nine of the 10 players: Jenna Lysne, Jordan Diffenderfer, Allison Huyser, Kate Huyser, Jenna Odem, Celine Stallmer, Kori Brown, Sondra Weaver, and Purvis. The 10th senior, Sam Decker, played on the varsity team as a freshman. All 10 played for the Soccer Club of Rockford (SCOR) through ninth grade, and all but Decker continued with the club through their senior season under the tutelage of long-time coaches Ian Purvis and John Stallmer. Decker, who will play next year for Grand Valley State University, spent the last three club seasons playing for Grand Rapids Junior Crew. The victory over Jenison, which was delayed an hour because of lightning, helped the Rams secure a tie for third place with Grand Haven in the OK Red conference. Undefeated East Kentwood, which beat Rockford 2-1 in […]

Rockford girls soccer wins league opener

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The Rockford girls soccer team opened the league season with a formidable win against Hudsonville Friday night, April 16, but against non-league opposition last week, they faltered. The Rams, now 2-2 overall, beat the visiting Eagles 4-1, taking advantage of four different scorers on the blustery, cold night at Rams Stadium. On Tuesday night and Saturday, April 13 and 17, however, their visitors from Cedar Springs and Petoskey took home the wins. Rockford began the week with the neighboring Red Hawks, who always put up a fight. The Rams out-shot Cedar Springs 17-5, but never truly managed to get a goal, despite the final 2-1 score. Senior goalkeeper Sarah Sowerwine seemed to be at the top of her game for the Red Hawks, and the Rams just couldn’t get the ball past her and her defenders. Although junior offensive center midfielder Syd Benda kicked the ball last for Rockford and was credited with the goal with 14:37 remaining in the game, Red Hawks’ defender Ashley Fisher actually kicked the ball in as she sought to keep it out of the goal. Rockford coach Amira Ponne credited Sowerwine and the Red Hawks’ back line with the win. “I don’t think they controlled the game, but their defense was all over the field,” commented Ponne. Against Hudsonville, the Rams were unstoppable. Benda began the scoring frenzy just five minutes into the game when she shot the ball into the right corner, hitting the inside of the post to secure the goal. Freshman Erika Bradfield had the assist, passing to Benda out in front of the goal. Bradfield scored the second goal 28 minutes into the second half. Senior Kate Huyser passed the ball to her about midfield, and Bradfield charged toward the goal from the left, got past the defense, and shot the ball past freshman keeper Kayla Pouliot. Huyser followed suit four minutes later when she took the pass from junior Lanie Esch and kicked the ball into the left corner. Senior Sondra Weaver added one more, taking a cross from freshman Katie Hartnett and running it in for a full volley against the keeper eight minutes later. Hudsonville, which had four shots on goal compared to Rockford’s 10, got on the scoreboard […]