East Kentwood Prevails in D1 Shootout

November 5, 2016

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

COMSTOCK PARK – It wasn't a shocker that the MHSAA Division 1 Boys Soccer Final went through regulation and two overtimes scoreless.

Not with a pair of goalies that were on average giving up about a half a goal a game with 15 shutouts each heading into Saturday's championship game at Comstock Park High School.

So it was fitting that all eyes in the vocal crowd at Comstock Park were on Troy Athens'  goalie Mason Maziasz and East Kentwood's Haris Dzafic as both teams lined up to settle the championship on penalty kicks.

And when the five shooters were down for both teams, Dzafic stopped three Troy Athens shots, while Maziasz stopped two, just missing on the game-winning shot by East Kentwood sophomore midfielder Samuel Esquivel.

"I just tried to keep my cool, and expected to make the save," Dzafic said. "It was all about getting on the right side and getting a hand on it. It's an unbelievable feeling, knowing that the team is counting on you."

East Kentwood coach John Conlon, whose team has now won five Division 1 championships, the previous most recent in 2012, was glad he saw the potential in Dzafic as a goalie at such a young age.

"He is another one I have coached since he was like 6 years old," Conlon said. "I used to joke that we put him in goal because he was a terrible field player, and now he is the best goalkeeper in  the state. He has been brilliant for us all season. He gave up two goals in the whole tournament, and he is only a junior."

Maziasz is a senior, and was just as solid in goal Saturday – if not better – because East Kentwood pushed the tempo for most of the game and kept peppering the Troy Athens goal, only to find Maziasz coming up with big save after big save.

He ended  the day with nine total, and many clutch plays against a fast and talented Falcons offense.

"We died by what we lived by to get here," Troy Athens coach Todd Heugh said. "It's a coin flip when you get to a shootout, but their goalkeeper made some great plays, and credit to our kids for fighting, because I thought they took it to us for long stretches of the game.

"Mason has been great all season," he added. "Count the penalty kicks, this is his 16th shutout of the year, and he has 40 of them for his career. He has double-digit wins for the last three years he has been our goal keeper. He has made save after save, time after time. He's been excellent for us, and sometimes you take a kid like that for granted."

Dzafic ended his regulation and overtime play with six saves. But those three in the shootout will be remembered forever.

“This feels amazing; we just won a state championship," Dzafic said. "I have to give credit to Troy Athens. They are an amazing team with an amazing keeper. We just found a way to hold them off to the end, and then got them in the shootout."

Conlon breathed a sigh of relief.

"I have been on both ends of a shootout, the winning and losing side," Conlon said. "It just went our way today."

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) East Kentwood’s Harris Dzafic makes a save during Saturday’s Division 1 Final. (Middle) Narcis Sprecic (11) works to gain possession for the Falcons.

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.)