Gull Lake Makes 1st-Minute Goal Stand in Claiming 4th Finals Title

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for

November 5, 2022

NOVI – Thirty seconds changed the Division 2 boys soccer championship match between Richland Gull Lake and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood on Saturday at Novi High School.

It took Gull Lake 30 seconds to score, as junior Ryker Corstange took a slick pass from senior Jasek Zielaskowski and blasted a shot from the left side to give the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead.

That ended up the only goal of the game, as Gull Lake (22-3) claimed its fourth MHSAA Finals title in a defensive struggle.

“Did I think that would stand up? With our defense, I would say yes,’’ said Blue Devils goalkeeper Evan Kaiser, who was brilliant in the victory. “We have a great defense. Everyone does their job. Everyone works hard, and we come together as one big family. Getting a goal early doesn’t take the pressure off, but it definitely helps our defense knowing we are up a goal.”

Gull Lake didn’t allow a goal during its six-game MHSAA Tournament run.

“We got a wake-up call when we lost to Mattawan 4-3 during the regular season,’’ said Ryker Corstange, the nephew of head coach Jeff Corstange. “That sparked us. We were insanely mad. We wanted to go out and show people what Gull Lake was about. We’ve been known to score pretty fast. Jasek just worked his tail off, got to the corner, crossed it and I was just there to shoot it in.’’

It was Jeff’s fourth Finals title, as he previously won three with the girls soccer team at Gull Lake.

Nathan Hooker (2) advances the ball for Cranbrook Kingswood. “This one meant the most,’’ said Ryker.

Jeff was noncommittal.

“We got healthy and got back to what we were supposed to be,’’ said Jeff Corstange. “We got Tre (Reiner) back there. He was out for six weeks, and he’s one of our best defenders. Getting him back in the postseason was huge for us. I didn’t think that goal would hold up, especially with the wind the way it was. The way they pressed and the way they shoot, with No. 2 (Nathan Hooker). We thought he might be able to take advantage of the wind. With that wind, you have to hit it a little softer. We’re not used to that.

“It was a beautiful pass from Jasek, sliding the ball over. We’ve been doing that all postseason. We practice it all the time, and they made the play. It was a beautiful goal.’’

Gull Lake entered the postseason as the top-ranked squad in Division 2, with its last title in 2020. The Blue Devils claimed victories over No. 2 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, No. 8 Parma Western and No. 9 DeWitt during their march to the championship game.

Cranbrook (15-2-3) won the Detroit Catholic League AA title and was ranked No. 3 at the end of the regular season. The Cranes pitched four shutouts on their run to the championship under veteran coach Chad O’Kulich.

Playing with the lead, Gull Lake kept the pressure on the Cranes, keeping play in Cranbrook’s end. Gull Lake’s Zavier Thomas was a constant threat.

Cranbrook found itself a goal down with no offense and no shots on goal in the first half.

“Kaiser is an incredible athlete. He’s a great keeper and one of the best I’ve coached,’’ said Jeff Corstange.

Desperate for a second goal, Adam Boyle hit the crossbar for Gull Lake 11 minutes into the second half.

Cranbrook finally got a shot on goal with 20:58 to play, but the attempt went wide.

The Cranes’ best chance to score came from Evan Evans, a senior midfielder. But his shot also hit the crossbar.

“They played hard, and they played aggressive, but they are classy,’’ said O’Kulich. “There was great sportsmanship out there. I think that starts at the high school level.’’

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Zavier Thomas (7) leads a run toward the goal for Gull Lake on Saturday. (Middle) Nathan Hooker (2) advances the ball for Cranbrook Kingswood.

Record-Setting Saving, Historic Scoring Send Grosse Ile to 2018 Boys Soccer Finals

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

May 17, 2024

Grosse Ile’s Division 3 runner-up season in 2018 included multiple MHSAA team records for defensive and offensive success.

The Red Devils set a record with 21 straight shutouts and 24 total over 29 games, and also finished third all-time scoring 158 goals.

Their 23-game winning streak that season remains tied for seventh-longest as Grosse Ile finished 27-2.

See below for more recent additions to the MHSAA boys soccer record book, and click the heading to see the record book in full.

Boys Soccer

Keeper Ethan DeJager and Grandville Calvin Christian were nearly unbeatable in 2020, finishing 19-1-2 and runner-up in Division 4. They set a record allowing only four goals for the season, while DeJager is fourth on the season shutouts list with 19 over those 22 games and tied for the second-longest shutout streak at 13. DeJager was a senior that season.

Seth Davidson capped his four-year varsity career this past fall on three records lists for shutouts – 15 over 22 games this past season, 26 for his career and nine straight as a senior. Berkley as a team also made the fewest goals allowed list, giving up only 11 in finishing 18-2-2.

Caden Saxton capped a memorable four-year Flint Kearsley varsity career in the fall with four entries in the record book. He made the assists list with 27 over 21 games as a senior and also the single-season points list with 65, and made career lists in those categories with 63 assists and 149 points, respectively, over 71 games.

Jonesville advanced in its District this past season with an 8-5 overtime win over Blissfield on Oct. 12, and Warrick Elder played a big part scoring six goals. He’s a senior.

Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep’s run to the Division 4 Semifinals saw contributions from several players, and junior James Whiting was among those leading the way. He made the assists list with 30 over 22 games, and also the total points list with 49. He also sits on the career assists list after three seasons with 66 and one more season to play.

Holland Christian made the team list for 12 straight shutouts from Sept. 8-Oct. 19, and 15 shutouts total over 20 games this past season. Junior Adam Bergman was in goal for all 15 including the 12 consecutive.

Muskegon Oakridge senior Arturo Romero-Serrano capped his career in the fall with his second season reaching 40 goals, netting 42 total to finish his four-year career with 105 and also on the MHSAA career points list with 125. He also added a second six-goal game, against Muskegon Catholic Central on Aug. 25.

Monroe Jefferson’s season came to an end Oct. 11 in a District game against Riverview, but senior Gabe Gelso finished with a state record. He made 49 saves in the 9-0 defeat as the Bears had only eight players total.

Ian Klenk added eight more shutouts in goal this past fall to finish his three-season varsity career with 25 in 60 games and make the career list in that category. He’ll continue his career at Kuyper College.

PHOTO Grosse Ile's keeper Brendan Ebler (1) gathers the ball and charts his next move during the 2018 Division 3 Final.