Rochester Adams Holds Off Rockford Rush for 1st Finals Title since 1999

By Tim Robinson
Special for

November 5, 2022

COMSTOCK PARK -- Rochester Adams goalkeeper John Coon wasn't sure how to feel after his team held off Rockford 2-0 in Saturday's Division 1 championship game at Comstock Park High School. 

Was it elation at winning a title or relief that the game was over?

"Both," he said after the Highlanders clinched their first Finals championship since 1999. "I'm relieved that it's over and happy we were on the winning side of things."

The Highlanders (17-1-6) handed the Rams (22-1-1) their only loss of the season. It also was only the second time this season Rockford allowed two goals in a game. 

The Adams goals came toward the end of each half despite Rockford's ability to control play for stretches. 

The first came with 3:25 to go in the first half. Jackson Craft took a pass from Colton James to notch his team-leading 24th goal of the season 

"It was a beautiful ball from Colton," Craft said. "It couldn't have been any better. I got the touch and was able to put it in. It gave us a big boost."

That also was a familiar sight to coach Josh Hickey.

Jackson Croft (2) makes a run at the Rockford goal for the Highlanders."Jackson has done that all year," Hickey said. "He gets behind you and makes you pay, and he just finishes."

It stayed that way until late in the second half, during which Adams withstood a furious Rockford offensive push that kept the pressure on.

"Their mentality in the second half was way more 'Let's get after this team,'" Coon said. 

Which the Rams did, but a stalwart Highlanders defense and a couple of shots that hit goalposts prevented Rockford from getting on the board.

Adams put it out of reach when Matt Vostriakov scored on an assist from Craft with 4:12 remaining, 

"I just heard screaming," Vostriakov said of his reaction to the goal, "I heard screaming, and I ran to the bench to celebrate with my team."

It was a disappointing end to a storybook season for the Rams, who won their first Regional title last week. 

"Adams played a really good game," Rockford coach Tim Boleman said. "Credit to them. They've got a really good team. We didn't do what we should have done, and we didn't defend as well as we should have.

"We had a great season," he continued. "We had an incredible ride. We accomplished great things. We didn't think we would be here. We were unbeaten until today, the only team in the state to do that."

Instead, on a warm, overcast November afternoon it was the Highlanders' moment in the sun, so to speak.

"They worked so hard to do this, and they wanted this so badly," Hickey said.

"We had tough battles all through the playoffs. We had injuries. These kids are banged up, sick, they just gave everything. They deserve it."

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Rochester Adams celebrates its Division 1 championship Saturday at Comstock Park High School. (Middle) Jackson Croft (2) makes a run at the Rockford goal for the Highlanders.

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.)