The seventh-ranked Coldwater Cardinals and Lakeshore Lancers won their Regional semifinal soccer matches Thursday at Marshall High School, propelling them to Saturday’s Regional Final at 6 p.m., which can be heard live via the Slocum Sports Network. Coldwater upset top-ranked and previous unbeaten Dexter 2-0, while Lakeshore won 2-1 in overtime against ninth-ranked Plainwell.
Coldwater and Dexter played fairly even in a scoreless first half. 59 seconds into the second half, a Coldwater corner kick found Mohamed Nagi for only the third goal surrendered all season by Dexter. The Cardinals limited Dexter’s chances the rest of the way and sealed the victory with 6:44 remaining as the other Nagi brother, Nasser, found the back of the net. Cardinal goalkeeper Balal Nasser unofficially made five saves.
Coldwater is into the Regional final for the first time in program history, improving to 21-3-1 on the season. Dexter ends the year at 21-1-0 and their loss means that none of the teams ranked #1 between the four MHSAA divisions will make it to the final eight. Of the six teams left in Division 2 following Thursday’s games, Coldwater holds the highest Coaches Association ranking at #7.
In the other semifinal, Lakeshore took the lead on a Riley Aukerman goal with 25:41 to go in the first half. Lakeshore controlled the rest of the first half, although Plainwell came out firing in the second half. A stellar diving save from Lancer sophomore goalkeeper Oli Carmody denied a Luke Morrell penalty kick midway through the second.
Eventually, the Trojan pressure was too much and they got the equalizer with 16:46 remaining when a long boot from Zakary Termeer found Morrell in the box for Luke’s 40th goal of the season. Lakeshore used a corner kick in the first two minutes of overtime to reclaim the lead, put in by freshman forward Mikey Tibbitts. The Lancers held on for the final 18 minutes to book their first final eight appearance since 1995. Lakeshore moves to 15-9-1 on the season while Plainwell ends 18-4-3.
Coldwater and Lakeshore face off Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Regional final at Marshall High School and you can listen live on the Slocum Sports Network. The winner advances to the semifinal Wednesday at Portage Northern against #8 Holland. Listen back to Thursday’s games below:
COLDWATER VS DEXTER
LAKESHORE VS PLAINWELL