FRUITPORT – The Fruitport girls soccer team had a very good night on Tuesday, beating Oakridge 4-2 in its season opener.

But the victory was even more special, because it was the first game and first win for new head coach Kyle Hall and was highlighted by a remarkable four-goal performance by junior Kendal Kolberg.

Two of Kolberg’s goals came late in the game, after Oakridge had tied the score 2-2.

“It feels really good,” Kolberg said after her scoring explosion. “Especially coming from last year when I only scored one goal. To have the first game of the season and open it up with four goals is really great.”

Fruitport’s Kendal Kolberg, who opened the season by scoring four goals. Photo/Jeremy Clark

Kolberg said she hadn’t had a game like Tuesday’s since middle school.

“This is different,” she said. “It’s in high school and it feels really good.”

Coach Hall was impressed with Kolberg’s performance and said having a player who can finish off scoring chances is a huge benefit for the team.

“To have one player step up and put the ball in the back of the net four times is special,” he said. “She had a great day and she’ll play a huge part for us going forward.”

Fruitport’s Jorja Blackmer (21) battles for the ball. Photo/Jeremy Clark

Kolberg headed in a goal off a corner kick just 2:41 into the game to give Fruitport a 1-0 lead.

Less than four minutes later, Kolberg netted a rebound opportunity to make the score 2-0 with 33:49 remaining in the first half.

An Oakridge goal with 13:46 left in the half cut the Trojan lead to 2-1, which remained the score at halftime.

An Oakridge penalty kick goal with 26:41 remaining in the second half tied the game at 2-2.

Kolberg tries to get the ball past the Oakridge goalie. Photo/Jeremy Clark

Just 40 seconds later, Kolberg missed a penalty kick that would have given Fruitport the lead again.

But she was far from done.

Kolberg netted her third goal on yet another corner kick to give Fruitport a 3-2 lead with just 13:26 remaining.

Her final goal came with 4:50 left in the contest.

Fruitport’s McKenzie Beardsley (15) tries to work the ball past an opponent. Photo/Jeremy Clark

The Trojans will now be off until April 10 when they open conference play with a home game against Hamilton.

“We have a lot of resilience,” Coach Hall said when asked what he learned about his team on opening night. “I can tell these girls don’t know how good they are. The hardest opponent we’re going to face all year is ourselves. Once we figure that out, the sky is the limit. We have a very difficult conference with four teams ranked in the top 10 of the state.”

Hall said it was special to get his first career victory for his alma mater, where he played soccer for the late Ken Erny.

“There is no better feeling in the world,” he said. “I grew up a Fruitport kid, and to come back here and have my first win is extremely emotional. Ken Erny was my coach and one of my idols growing up, so to come back and get a chance is an honor.” eddie