Keeper Keys Country Day's D2 Triumph

November 3, 2018

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

COMSTOCK PARK – Jon Dougherty stood tall for 100 minutes of soccer.

And then some. 

Under constant pressure Saturday at Comstock Park from undefeated and top-ranked Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, Dougherty, the senior goalkeeper for Detroit Country Day, made save after save throughout regulation and then overtime to keep his team in a scoreless Division 2 title game.

Then in the penalty kick shootout, Dougherty made one more big save and the Huskies missed the net on another shot, giving the Yellowjackets a 4-2 advantage in penalty kicks for a 1-0 victory and the program’s state-record 15th MHSAA Finals championship.

The title Saturday was the program’s first in Division 2. The Yellowjackets moved from Division 3 this fall.

"Credit to Forest Hills Northern, they were a great opponent," Dougherty said. "They were big, fast and physical and really wore us down the whole game. I just did what I had to do to keep the ball out of the net. I just kept telling my defenders where to be in position, and they did a (heck) of a job, too."

During regulation, Dougherty stopped 12 Forest Hills Northern shots. He stopped four more in the two 10-minute overtime periods. Then the one in the penalty kick session to give him a full day’s work and make his coach very proud. 

"They (FHN) are a wonderful team," said Detroit Country Day coach Steve Bossert, whose team ended the year with a 20-5-2 record. "And we had a good gameplan, the kids executed it and I think we have the best goalie in the state. He made the difference."

Especially early.

"Some of those flighted balls early, he had to reach over and make great saves in a lot of traffic," Bossert said. "And they have a lot of big bodies. He was the best."

The higher-regarded team coming into Saturday's title game was the Huskies, who had not lost in 24 games this fall. 

And Forest Hills Northern played like that all game, controlling tempo and pushing the ball into the Yellowjackets' defensive end time and time again. But the Huskies could not penetrate Detroit Country Day's defense and Dougherty. 

"It doesn't really matter if you don't score," said FHN coach Daniel Siminski, whose team ended its year 23-1-1. "This is my fifth state finals, and I have lost three on PKs. And when you are or are not the best team, today they were the best team because they won, shots or no shots."

The Huskies also fell in a shootout in their first championship match appearance, to Mason in 2015.

"Country Day played a great defensive game," Siminski added. "They made it difficult for us to create. And when we had chances, we didn't score. That is how it goes sometimes. This is a tough pill to swallow after the season we had."

Senior midfielder Kevin Tang netted Country Day’s final penalty kick that put the game away. 

The championship was Country Day’s first since 2011.

"This was a great high school soccer game," Bossert said. "I think it is a shame that somebody has to lose like that. Obviously, I am very excited that we won. I am not a very big fan of the tiebreak, but it is what it is and we ended up on the better end of it."

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Country Day keeper Jon Dougherty gathers a shot just over the head of a Forest Hills Northern player Saturday at Comstock Park. (Middle) Yellowjackets senior Kevin Tang celebrates during his team’s Division 2 Final victory.

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.