Listen live Monday on the Slocum Sports Network at 6:45 p.m. to a marquee boys soccer match with the Hackett Catholic Irish hosting the Mattawan Wildcats. The game serves as a big early-season test for both programs, which have advanced to the final four in their division in back-to-back years.
Mattawan is the defending Division 2 state champion, finishing 22-2-4 last season en route to the school’s first boys soccer title. They graduated top scorer Jarrett Hageman and goalkeeper Casey Kirkbride, while returning All-State honorable mention midfielder Evan Marquess.
Hackett made it to the Division 4 semifinals in 2016 and was the state runner-up in 2015. The Irish were 16-5-1 last season and lose First-Team All-State midfielder James Amat and Third-Team keeper Matthew Carpenter. However, Hackett returns two All-State selections for their junior seasons in Second-Team midfielder Brennan Creek and Third-Team forward Max Keenan. They also bring back honorable mention defender Jacob Wurtz for his senior campaign.
Mattawan hosted and won against Hackett 3-1 last season. Although Hackett has given the Wildcats some tight battles, Mattawan has controlled the series with 6-1, 2-1, 2-0, 1-0 victories over the last five years.