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
Listen live online Thursday on the Slocum Sports Network to the boys soccer Regional #5 semifinals from Marshall High School. The first contest at 5 p.m. features the ninth-ranked Plainwell Trojans against the Lakeshore Lancers. The second match at 7 p.m. has the top-ranked Dexter Dreadnaughts facing the seventh-ranked Coldwater Cardinals.
#9 Plainwell is in the Regional round for the fourth consecutive season and are hoping to get beyond the Regional final for the first time in that stretch. At 18-3-3, the Wolverine Conference champions defeated Hastings (3-1), Otsego (3-2), and #20 Gull Lake (2-1) in the District round. Plainwell’s deepest run was a Division 3 state championship for coach Garry Snyder back in 2000. Their last Regional championship was in 2009.
Lakeshore is in the Regional round for the first time since 2008. The Lancers are 14-9-1 with District victories against Vicksburg (8-0), St. Joseph (2-1), and Edwardsburg (4-2). Lakeshore’s deepest run was in 1990 when they were Class B co-state champions with Mason. They also were runner-up in 1991 and 1989.
#7 Coldwater is in the Regional round for the first time in program history. They’ve also set a school record for wins this season, entering the Regional at 20-3-3. They downed Jackson Northwest (7-0), Mason (2-0), and #6 Marshall (3-2 in OT) to claim their District title. The victory over Marshall avenged two earlier regular season losses against the Redhawks.
Dexter is in the Regional round for the second consecutive year and enter as the #1 ranked team in the final Division 2 Coaches Association poll. The ranking is well-earned, as the Dreadnaughts are unbeaten at 21-0-0. The closest anyone has come to beating them was Ypsilanti, who tied them 3-3 in a game which Ypsilanti later had to forfeit. In the rest of their games, Dexter has allowed only two goals. They defeated Adrian (3-0) and #13 Tecumseh (3-0) in their District matches. They were D2 state champs in 2006 under coach Scott Forrester and were runner-up in 2007 and 2008.
Among these four teams, only Coldwater and Plainwell have met this season. Coldwater won their season opening meeting 3-1 in Portage. One week later in East Lansing, the Trojans were 4-2 victors.
Listen live online to Thursday’s semifinals on the Slocum Sports Network from Marshall High School. Plainwell and Lakeshore meet at 5 p.m. with Dexter and Coldwater set for around 7 p.m. You can also listen to Saturday’s Regional championship from Marshall at 6 p.m.