Unranked Knights Finish No. 1 in D4

November 3, 2012

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

TROY – It’s fair to say Hamtramck Frontier International was underestimated entering this fall’s MHSAA boys soccer tournament.

But Division 4 opponents will be wise to pay attention to the third-year program from this point forward.

The Knights entered the District tournament three weeks ago unranked, but beat five top-10 opponents and finished their first MHSAA title run by beating No. 8 Grand Rapids Covenant Christian 3-2 on Saturday at Troy Athens.

Frontier (18-2) also eliminated No. 1 Lansing Christian, No. 4 Birmingham Roeper, No. 5 Genesee Christian and No. 9 Ann Arbor Greenhills along the way.

“Some teams underestimated us, but we came through hard. We knew we could’ve (won) it, and we got this,” Frontier junior midfielder Mujeeb Nahshal said. “The first three years, we came (a long way). We don’t have much support, but thanks to our principals and thanks to our coaches.”

The Knights had advanced to the Division 4 Semifinals in 2010 and made it back to the Regional last fall. Their regular season schedule was loaded with larger schools, and they entered the tournament after losing two of their final three games.

But Frontier outscored its seven postseason opponents by a combined 22-5 and got on the board quickly Saturday when Nahshal scored from about 20 yards out just 1 minute, 54 seconds in off a pass from senior forward Baleegh Algahim.

Although Covenant Christian did well to control the ball, the scoring opportunities during the rest of the first half belonged to Frontier. And midway through the second half, Algahim scored twice within two minutes to put the Knights up 3-0 with 20:25 to play.

“We used to practice day and night,” Algahim said. “We worked hard, so that's what we get.”

The Chargers, also playing in their first MHSAA Final, didn’t give up. Frontier loaded the box and turned away most of Covenant Christian’s increased attack. But Chargers senior Jordan Van Oostenbrugge finally broke through with 4:59 to play.

Van Oostenbrugge scored again with 55 seconds left, before Frontier held tight until the buzzer.

“I wanted to make the game interesting, I guess. Just put the ball in the back of the net, and I got it,” Van Oostenbrugge said. “It’s always difficult to come back from 3-nothing, but I think we got a couple goals there at the end and had a chance. The first half we played a little timid, but we came back in second half and took it to them.”

Nahsal also had an assist on Algahim’s first goal, and sophomore midfielder Habeb Ghaleb had the assist on Algahim’s second. Sophomore Ammar Abdullah had 12 saves. Covenant Christian junior Austin Brower had 10 saves.

The Chargers finished 19-5-1.

“We showed we could play with them. … we just ran out of time,” Covenant Christian coach Mike Noorman said. “I’m very proud of how hard they worked. We had great opportunities. But they finished.”

Click for box score. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Sophomore Ammar Abdullah makes one of his 12 saves during the Division 4 Final. (Middle) Mujeeb Nahshal (10) and his teammates celebrate after Nahshal scored the game's first goal.

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.)