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.) 

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.)