For the first time in program history, the Coldwater Cardinals have made it to the boys soccer final four. Coldwater won their Regional final Saturday 1-0 over Lakeshore from Marshall High School. The lone goal came in the 29th minute as a long shot from senior Tyler Kooi slipped through the hands of Lakeshore goalkeeper Oli Carmody.
The Lancers upped the pressure in the second half and ended up with six corner kicks in the match, but they couldn’t get by junior goalkeeper Balal Nasser, who recorded his fourth postseason shutout with an unofficial tally of seven saves.
“He’s gotta be one of the best in the state right now,” said Coldwater coach Ken Delaney of Nasser. “He keeps us in games. And just great team defense that we’re playing right now too, everybody knows their role and does their job.”
The school-record for wins in a season continues to grow as Coldwater advances, putting them to 22-3-1 on the season. Lakeshore finishes their campaign at 15-10-1.
“Even games that we’ve been down, we never give up,” said Delaney. “It’s a good decision making team and we’re very, very quick.”
Ranked seventh in the final Division 2 Coaches Association poll, Coldwater is the highest ranked team in the final four and will meet the next best remaining, #8 Holland, in Wednesday’s semifinal.
“I saw them last year in the Regionals when they were there. They’ve got speed too, they’ve got a couple of really good attacking players up top. It’s gonna be tough,” said Delaney.
Coldwater faces Holland Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the semifinal from Portage Northern High School. The other Division 2 semifinal features Farmington Hills Harrison against East Lansing. Listen back to Saturday’s Regional final below: