No Damper on this Rivalry

December 13, 2011

FREELAND – The Ovid-Elsie and Ithaca boys soccer teams play each other at least twice a season as members of the Tri-Valley Conference, and often again during the postseason. Usually those games are meaningful – both regularly are among the best in their league as well as district title contenders.

But a gesture brought on by Wednesday’s seemingly statewide downpour likely will become one of the most memorable moments of this rivalry.

Ovid-Elsie jumped to 6-0 lead by halftime of the team’s Division 3 district semifinal at Freeland. With winds blowing rain sideways and 30-40 mph, chances of an Ithaca comeback were slim.

The Yellowjackets had another bad turn when one of their defenders was injured running down an Ovid-Elsie breakaway early in the second half. Play stopped, and the Marauders’ defenders stood together to block each other from the rain and wind.

Soon, they were joined by two Ithaca forwards. Then midfielders from both sides joined. Eventually, all 21 players still on the field, aside from the one who was injured, formed a tight huddle near Ovid-Elsie’s net. The huddle was completed when Marauders goalkeeper Thomas Powers slid in among the mass of legs and emerged in the middle of the group.

“One of my players told me they were just playing rock, paper, scissors in there,” Ovid-Elsie coach Craig Thelen said.

“Both teams respect each other, play hard against each other. We split this season, and we split wins almost every season.”

Separated by 25 miles, the Ovid-Elsie and Ithaca players know each other only through soccer, Thelen said. But the rivalry, while physical, is friendly. That mutual respect likely grew Thursday.

As the person who submitted this photo wrote, “Like they say, ‘It's not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game.’ This is how we should play a little more often.”

Ovid-Elsie eventually won 8-2, and faces Alma in the district final at 6 p.m. Saturday, also in Freeland.

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.)