Lenawee Christian Nets 1st Title on Final Rush

November 7, 2020

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for Second Half

NOVI – Either Adrian Lenawee Christian or Grandville Calvin Christian was going to make history Saturday at the MHSAA Division 4 Final at Novi High School.

Both were primed to win a boys soccer title for the first time.

In dramatic fashion senior Francisco Cabrera made sure it would be Lenawee Christian, turning a great rush down the right sideline into a goal by senior Gabe Henley with 22 seconds left to stun Calvin Christian and give the Cougars a 2-1 victory. 

Battling sore shins, Cabrera made it happen when his teammates needed it most by sending a pass into Henley to set up the go-ahead goal.

“I saw the left back make the runoff. I knew it was time,’’ said Cabrera. “Big players show up in big moments. I think I was lucky a teammate got on that one. I was going to try and look for a shot. I just put it out there, and a teammate came through. I have no words for when I saw the ball go in. Glory to God. We deserved this. The team and the school.’’

Henley scored both goals for the winners and kept an eye on Cabrera while he was making his run down the field. 

“It was beautiful; his hustle along the outside,’’ said Henley. “Once I saw that he had beaten the defenders and I knew I was positioned backside … it laid out perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for anything better; right to my foot and be able to tap it in. I was hoping we could finish it there. We’ve played one time 110 minutes, and it’s just grueling. We just knew we could finish there.’’

Calvin Christian kept the pressure on in the early going and converted when Abraham VandenHoek directed a header into the net with 21 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first half on an assist from Andrew Heeringa to give the Squires a 1-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Lenawee Christian’s offense was being shut down by the Squires. In the first 25 minutes, the Cougars (16-2-1) had one shot on goal. 

But 38 seconds into the second half, Henley fooled the Calvin Christian keeper and rolled in a shot to tie the score, 1-1. The goal was just the third allowed all season by the Squires.

“We really needed something to get going,’’ said Henley. “Anyone can score in the beginning, but we’ve kept our cool. We’ve been scored on, one of two goals, and we’ve come back. We were confident we could come back. We needed that.’’

“Let’s Go Blue’’ blared from the Lenawee Christian stands as the Cougars carried the momentum with time ticking away, although Calvin Christian just missed netting a second goal with five minutes to play.

“I felt like we played a little scared at the beginning,’’ said Lenawee Christian coach Nate Sharpe. “The halftime talk was you have to go out and play the way that got us here. You can’t be scared. They stepped up and did it for most of the half. We got an early one in that second half to bring it up. That gave them hope and belief that they could do it. Then it was just a battle back and forth in the midfield. 

“We caught them on a transition at the end of the game. They were all up, the ball bounced up. We played it up to Franny (Cabrera); Franny beats them down the line and plays a great ball to Gabe.’’

The loss was the only one this fall for Calvin Christian, which finished 19-1-2.

“We play a lot better,” Squires coach Karel de Waal Malefyt said. “This was our first time here, and it showed.’’ 

Click for the full stat summary.

PHOTOS: (Top) Adrian Lenawee Christian's Scott Knoll (3) works to gain possession while Calvin Christian's Joseph Bos defends Saturday. (Middle) Evan Hendershot comes up with a save for the Cougars. (Photos by Hockey Weekly Action Photos.) 

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

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.