Genesee Christian Ends Run "Perfectly"

November 7, 2015

By Chip Mundy
Special for Second Half

BRIGHTON – A perfect season by the Burton Genesee Christian boys soccer team had a perfect finish.

Four-year senior Jesse Oliver scored in overtime to give the Soldiers the winning margin in a 3-2 victory over Kalamazoo Hackett on Saturday in the MHSAA Division 4 championship game at Brighton High School.

It is the first MHSAA state championship in any sport in school history.

“I would say that definitely was the perfect ending to the season,” Genesee Christian coach Doug Anderson said, moments after having a bucket of cold water dumped on his head.

Anderson didn’t mind the gesture.

“It’s definitely worth it because it means that we won,” he said. “I didn’t want to prepare a losing speech for these guys, and I didn’t have one ready.”

The feeling of scoring the game-winning goal in overtime was overwhelming for Oliver.

“It’s exhilarating. It’s amazing,” he said. “This isn’t something you get to do every day. I really didn’t expect it, but I was in the right spot at the right time.

“It’s surreal. It really is surreal.”

Genesee Christian (28-0) had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before being forced into the two 10-minute overtime sessions. Oliver broke the tie when he scored from right in front of the net on a pass from junior Riley Buchalski.

“The ball was at the end line, and it was juggling around a bit,” Oliver said. “I was crashing toward the middle, and the ball just shot out. I was in the right spot at the right time and put it in with my left foot.”

Oliver, who stands 6 feet, 5 inches, was not the most likely player to score the goal. But as a senior, it was a fitting finish.

“Jesse is my holding man,” Anderson said. “He has a couple of goals from set pieces and stuff, but he’s our stalwart back there; our workhorse, and I’m so happy for him. He has played all four years. He didn’t play a lot as a freshman, but he just kept getting better and better.”

Genesee Christian made it to the title game with a shootout victory over top-ranked Lansing Christian in the Semifinal.

“I’m sick and tired of these overtime games and the guys trying to give me a heart attack, but it does make it more exciting,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I would have liked to have a shutout, but it gets all the guys into it, and in the end we won, and that’s all that matters.”

Junior Cole Russell, who scored the first goal of the game for the Soldiers, praised both Oliver and Buchalski for the game-winning goal.

“Jesse’s composure to keep it down and put it in the back of the net to give us a 3-2 lead in the state championship game was unbelievable,” Russell said. “Riley was a beast in overtime. He was everywhere.”

Russell, a junior, gave Genesee Christian a 1-0 lead when he beat a defender and the goalkeeper, who came out of the net, and found the back post from about 30 yards out. Ryan DeWeese picked up an assist on the goal.

“Ryan DeWeese, it was all him,” Russell said. “The ball he gave me was unbelievable. I could not have asked for a better ball. I had the easy job, to be honest. It was all him.”

Russell also had an assist on Genesee Christian’s second goal. With the game tied 1-1, Russell got the ball to junior Tyler Rose in front of the net, and Rose scored on a header.

Kalamazoo Hackett (21-5-1) was in its fifth MHSAA championship game and first since 1995. The Irish had not lost in a Final and this time battled back twice from one-goal deficits.

Senior Will Knoll tied the game 1-1 in the 51st minute with an assist from Kieran O’Brien, and junior James Amat made it 2-2 in the 73rd minute on a free kick from 25 yards. The Irish scored twice on a team that had allowed just 10 goals in 27 games.

“Those were very quality goals by them, and they did frustrate us a little bit,” Anderson said. “They have a good team, and they played good defense against us.”

It was a highly entertaining game with several chances and close calls by both teams in addition to some fine saves by goalkeepers Zach Noecker (Genesee Christian) and Matthew Carpenter (Kalamazoo Hackett).

In particular, the last five minutes of the first half were thrilling. The highlight came when Carpenter was caught out of the goal, and the Irish players had to defend in his absence. Amat made two saves in a flurry in front of the net.

Russell nearly score in that span as well as his shot went just over the net and just under the crossbar on the goal posts used for football. He is one of many who have played together since the fourth grade.

“We had a feeling that when we were juniors and seniors that we were going to win the state championship, and we did,” Russell said. “Our teamwork is tremendous, and I am so proud of everyone who played on this team, from the person who played the least minutes to the player who played the most.

“We all put in the work for this, and we earned it.”

Click for the full box score.  

PHOTOS: (Top) Genesee Christian's Riley Buchalski works to keep control of the ball during Saturday's Division 4 Final. (Middle) Kalamazoo Hackett's Jacob Wurtz tries to push the ball past a defender.

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.)