November 05, 2011

Soccer: Detroit Domination

Soccer: Detroit Domination

One team won an MHSAA title for the first time, another for the first in nearly two decades. And two more added to a significant pile of soccer championship trophies.

But the tie that binds all four of this season's Finals champions is location -- all four are suburban powers near the big city in the southeastern corner of the state.

Here's a rundown of Saturday's Finals:

Division 1

Daniel Ovesea's goal from just inside the midfield stripe gave Canton its first MHSAA Boys Soccer title since a Class A trophy in 1994, with a 1-0 win over Grand Haven.

Ovesea's boot lofted high over a group of players in front of the goal behind the Buccaneers keeper Ethan Beswick.

Canton (24-1-2) and Grand Haven (18-2-3) played to a scoreless first half and seemed headed to overtime prior to Oversea's goal.

The Chiefs got stellar play from netminder Steven Murphy, who stopped 10 shots in the victory.

Divison 2

One school was guaranteed its first MHSAA Boys Soccer crown in the Division 2 Final, as both Auburn Hills Avondale and Spring Lake were making first appearances in the championship contest.

In the end, it was Avondale hoisting the trophy following a 2-1 win over the Lakers.

Spring Lake (23-2) struck first with the only goal of the first half, a Tanner Berg tally at 35:45.

Avondale (18-5-2) got the equalizer early in the second half on Joe Davison's goal, and with just 1:53 to play, Skyler Russ nailed the clincher to give the Yellowjackets their first championship.

Spring Lake outshot Avondale, 18-11. Ben Richter got the win in goal for the Yellowjackets, while Harry Kriger stood tall in net for Spring Lake despite the loss.

Division 3

Detroit Country Day captured its MHSAA-record 13th boys soccer title with a 2-1 victory over another perennial power, Hudsonville Unity Christian.

The Yellow Jackets (20-4-1) fell behind just 5:28 into the contest, as Unity Christian's Jared Haverkamp found the net with an assist from Jake Love to put the Crusaders on top.

The lead was short-lived, however, as DCD's Dean Akeel evened things up with a marker at the 10:20 mark of the opening half.

Country Day got the game-winner from Oliver Harris 18:02 into the second half, and the defense held strong from there.

Unity Christian (24-1-1) outshot Country Day, 14-7, but it was not enough for the Crusaders to avoid their first loss of the season.

Country Day's Zachary Walker got the win in goal, while Unity's Zach Lier made six saves in the defeat.

Division 4

Allen Park Inter-City Baptist won its seventh MHSAA Boys Soccer title, and first since back-to-back efforts in 2005-06, downing Muskegon Western Michigan Christian 1-0 in overtime.

Steven Fiema scored off an Evan Kraatz pass with 1:08 to play in the second overtime.

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Geoff Kimmerly

Geoff Kimmerly joined the Michigan High School Athletic Association in September 2011 after nearly 12 years as Prep Sports Editor at the Lansing State Journal. His work also has appeared in USA Today and newspapers across the state, and he served as a state voter for The Associated Press.

A native of Frankenmuth and graduate of Michigan State, Kimmerly serves as the MHSAA's Media & Content Coordinator. Have some good high school news to share? Help us tell the rest of the state by e-mailing your story ideas to geoff@mhsaa.com.

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