After Delay, Greenhills Storms to 1st Title

November 4, 2017

By Keith Dunlap
Special for Second Half

ROCHESTER HILLS – It wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of a literal rainbow over Stoney Creek High School’s field on Saturday, but an MHSAA championship trophy was still a great prize for Ann Arbor Greenhills.

For the first time in school history, Greenhills is a Finals champion in boys soccer following a 1-0 win over Kalamazoo Hackett in the Division 4 title game.

After the teams broke off for halftime with the game scoreless, lightning was spotted to start what turned out to be an 88-minute weather delay.

Skies eventually cleared, and the teams began the second half playing under a visible rainbow high above the field.

With 23:58 left, Greenhills made its trophy claim.

After earning a corner kick with a rush down the sideline and cross toward the middle of the field that was deflected out of bounds by a Hackett defender, Greenhills senior Jerry Tucker put home a perfect service into the box off of the corner by senior teammate Matthew Pumphrey for the game’s only goal.  

Tucker said he deflected the ball into the wide-open net with his hip/waist area.

“In the moment, I saw it was going over the guy’s head and I couldn’t go too low,” Tucker said. “It went off my waist and into the goal.”

From there, Greenhills (20-6-1) didn’t sit back with the lead and managed to put a good amount of pressure on Hackett without giving up any dangerous counterattacks.

The Irish did manage to earn two corner kicks after the goal, but they were harmlessly cleared away.

Greenhills had lost in its three previous MHSAA championship game appearances, the most recent in 2010.

“To be able to win is very difficult to describe,” said Greenhills head coach Lucian Popescu, who coached that runner-up team in 2010.“It’s hard to have words about it.”

It certainly was noteworthy that Greenhills was able to shut out Hackett, given the Irish (19-2-2) entered the game having scored 34 goals in six playoff games and hadn’t been shut out since its season opener against Mattawan.

“We emphasized simple things we needed to do,” Popescu said. “Instead of marking the forwards, we were actually looking to play more aggressive to try and stop the pass to them. I think we were able to be successful most of the time.”

Hackett head coach Ian Troutman certainly had lofty praise for the defensive effort turned in by Greenhills.

“They had a great game plan and their back line, in particular their holding midfielders, did a great job keeping us limited in time and space on the ball, which we are not used to,” Troutman said. “We are used to having the lion’s share of possession. We had a little bit of a hard time controlling the ball in their half. Their intensity and speed on defense really helped them out.”

Both teams had to deal with a rare November thunderstorm that forced the lengthy delay, which started at halftime when the teams huddled up for talks with their coaches.

Tucker said he and the rest of his teammates stayed off their phones during the delay, opting for other ways to kill the time.

“We ate come Cliff bars and we stayed calm,” Tucker said. “We kept our phones away and were trying to stay focused on the game. We are good at keeping our mindset.”

Greenhills did, and that trophy at the end of the rainbow Saturday is now headed to its school forever.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Greenhills players celebrate during Saturday’s Division 4 championship win. (Middle) Hackett’s Daniel Amat (4) attempts to gain possession.

Be the Referee: Soccer Offsides or Goal?

By Paige Winne
MHSAA Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

May 23, 2023

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment – Soccer Offsides or Goal? - Listen

Today we’re on the soccer field for another You Make the Call.

Team A has a throw-in near midfield. Team A’s No. 9 is clearly in an offside position when the throw-in comes directly to her. She collects the ball and kicks it past the keeper and into the goal. What’s the call?

Should the referee:

► Award an indirect free kick to Team B?

► Award a goal kick to Team B?

► Award a re-take of the throw-in to Team A?

► Award a goal to Team A?

If you said, "Award a goal to Team A" … you are correct, despite the goal-scorer being in a clear offsides position.

The soccer rulebook states that a player shall not be penalized for offsides if she receives the ball directly from a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in. It’s a legal play – and counts as a goal.

Previous Editions:

May 16: Track & Field Exchange Zones - Listen
May 9: Girls Lacrosse Self-Start - Listen
May 2: Baseball/Softball Overthrow - Listen
April 25: Fifth-Quarter/Third-Half Rule - Listen
April 18: Soccer Referee in Play? - Listen
April 11: Softball Strikeout - Listen
March 14: Basketball Instant Replay - Listen
March 7: Hockey Overtime - Listen
Feb. 28: Baker Bowling - Listen
Feb. 21: Ski Finish - Listen
Feb. 14: Swimming Touchpads - Listen
Feb. 7: In or Out-of-Bounds in Wrestling - Listen
Jan. 31: Over the Back - Listen
Jan. 24: Competitive Cheer Judges - Listen
Jan. 17: More Lines - Listen
Jan. 10: On the Line - Listen
Jan. 3: Basketball Measurements - Listen
Dec. 13: Pregame Dunks - Listen
Dec. 6: Gymnastics Judges - Listen
Nov. 22: Football Finals Replay - Listen
Nov. 15: Back Row Illegal Blocker - Listen
Nov. 8: Swim Turn Judges - Listen
Nov. 1: Soccer Referee Jersey Colors - Listen
Oct. 25: Cross Country Tie-Breaker - Listen
Oct. 18: Soccer Shootouts - Listen
Oct. 11: Safety in End ZoneListen
Oct. 4: Football Overtime Penalty - Listen
Sept. 27: Kickoff Goal - Listen
Sept. 20: Soccer Timing - Listen
Sept. 13: Volleyball Replays - Listen
Sept. 6: Switching Sides - Listen
Aug. 30: Play Clock - Listen
Aug. 23: Intentional Grounding Change
- Listen

PHOTO: An official raises his flag during this spring's Trenton/Pontiac Notre Dame Prep game. (Photo by Chris Mudd/National Photo Scout.)