The Portage Central Mustangs and Okemos Chiefs advanced to the District 3 boys soccer championship game Saturday with victories Thursday evening at Lakeview High School. The Mustangs defeated crosstown rival Portage Northern 2-0, giving them three wins this season over the Huskies. The Chiefs used a big first half to grab a 5-3 victory over Kalamazoo Central.
The Mustangs and Huskies stayed even early in a rematch of last week’s 1-0 SMAC Championship game. In the 28th minute, Nolan Jaros sent it ahead from midfield and Minh Le put it in the net for a 1-0 Mustang lead at half.
Although PC had the edge in possession time, the Huskies had their chances, forcing Mustang goalkeeper Nick Kuppler to unofficially tally nine saves. With 7:01 left in the match, Michael Ketteman broke away and delivered the final blow. The fourth-ranked Mustangs move to 16-2-3 with the Huskies finishing the year at 12-8-3.
In the other semifinal, Okemos took a 5-0 lead into halftime against Kalamazoo Central. A penalty kick goal in the fifth minute by John-Luca Migaldi started the scoring. Alejandro Arana scored in the 14th minute, Ty Usiak in the 30th, Ben Derby in the 36th, and Jacob Mead in the 38th.
The Maroon Giants tried to rally late, with Paulo Alcala scoring thrice, the first coming in the 61st minute. He scored again with 2:47 remaining, followed by one more 33 seconds later, but the hole was too deep to get out of. Kalamazoo Central finishes at 10-7-3 with Okemos improving to 12-3-4.
Portage Central and Okemos play for the District 3 championship Saturday at noon from Lakeview High School in Battle Creek. They met in last year’s district semifinal, won by Okemos 3-0, who went on to claim the district over Portage Northern.
Listen back to Thursday’s games below:
PORTAGE CENTRAL VS PORTAGE NORTHERN
OKEMOS VS KALAMAZOO CENTRAL