Repeat Champ Soldiers Finish D4 Shutout

November 5, 2016

By Jeff Chaney
Special for Second Half

COMSTOCK PARK – There is always a question posed to a team that has just won consecutive championships – a question that is sometimes not that easy to answer.

Is it harder to win that first title, or harder to defend?

The boys soccer team from Burton Genesee Christian let its results do the answering, as it made a historic run through this year's MHSAA Division 4 Tournament.

The Soldiers capped off their second straight championship run with a 3-0 win over Muskegon Catholic Central on Saturday at Comstock Park High School.

It was the Genesee Christian’s 16th shutout of the season, and incredible seventh shutout in seven games during the tournament.

With Saturday's goal total, the Soldiers outscored their opponents 27-0 during the great run.

And leading the defensive way for Genesee Christian was senior goalie Zach Noecker, who did nothing to hurt his 0.63 goals-against average heading into Saturday's title game. He had seven saves against the Crusaders.

"This is amazing," Noecker said. "I have a great defense ahead of me, starting with (senior defender Tyler Rose). They are all phenomenal, and we are all best friends. Our goal for this postseason was to go for the shutout, because you can't lose if you don't get scored on."

A confident keeper and defense like that has made the Soldiers offense able to gamble and push a little harder, and they did just that Saturday, especially early.

In the game's first 16 minutes, Genesee Christian put two goals on the board.

The first, at the 31:58 mark, came on a beautiful corner kick by senior midfielder Cole Russell – a corner kick that found the back of the net.

The second, at 24:14, also came on a corner kick, but this one was fielded by Rose, then passed to senior forward Caleb DuPree, who headed the ball past Crusaders goalie Connor O'Neill.

DuPree scored again with just over three minutes to play in the first half on a spectacular unassisted goal.

"My coach always makes fun of me for not playing defense," DuPree said. "For the past two seasons our defense has been remarkable. They make it easy for us forwards, knowing we just have to be at the right place and time our moments. They do all the dirty work."

Great problems to have, a stingy defense and goalie, and a dynamic offense. And all this coming from a school with 114 total enrollment and 23 on the soccer team.

"This is a testament to these guys' work ethic," Genesee Christian coach Doug Anderson said. "(Assistant coach Chris Rainear) and I have a system we are trying to run, and these guys buy into it. And I'm telling you, it really works. When you get a group of guys, 23 of them, that sell out and say they will do anything to win a state championship, then you have a good chance to win."

Anderson said one of things he worried about early in the year was complacency after winning the program, and school's, first MHSAA championship in 2015.

"This was a tough one," Anderson said. "You want to get the guys motivated at the beginning of the year, and at the start of the year we had a philosophy of 'Win from Within.' And I told the guys if you want to win again, it will have to come from within yourself. And luckily I have a senior class that didn't need to be prodded too much."

Muskegon Catholic Central coach Bill Moulatsiotis said his team's lack of experience in a game of this magnitude finally caught up with the Crusaders.

"I think our inexperience showed today," Moulatsiotis said. "The gravity of the game, and the implications of what this might mean for the boys, was a lot. We tried to keep it as normal as possible, but obviously Genesee has been here before, and they knew what to do."

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Burton Genesee Christian players rush to get a hand on the Division 4 championship trophy. (Middle) Soldiers forward Caleb DuPree gets a foot on the ball with MCC’s Robert Ahern defending.

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.