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:
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.
The Marshall Redhawks and Otsgeo Bulldogs girls basketball teams will be meeting again for the Regional 9 championship, advancing to Thursday’s final with semifinal wins Tuesday. Marshall downed Lakeshore 71-44 with Otsego defeating Three Rivers 49-38.
Lakeshore had the game’s first basket against sixth-ranked Marshall, but their lead was very short lived. The Redhawks roared to a 26-12 lead after the first quarter and a 44-16 advantage by halftime. Nikki Tucker finished with 23 points for Marshall, followed by her younger sister Natalie with 10. Sarah Dubbert topped the Lancers with 13 points, followed by 11 from Cassie Pallett and 10 from Taylor Wagner. Lakeshore finishes the year at 18-7 while Marshall improves to 21-2.
In the second game, Three Rivers started ahead, but like Lakeshore, had the lead for a short time. Otsego led 12-6 after the first quarter, 25-12 at halftime, and 39-24 after three. The Wildcats made it back within nine points in the fourth quarter, but no closer. Three Rivers freshman Hadley Miller led all players with 18 points, her team finishes 10-14. Otsego’s top scorer was Grace VerHage, who had 12 of her 14 in the first half. Mattison Rayman added 13 and Jaycie Callaway scored 12, all in the second half. The Bulldogs move to 20-3 for their second consecutive 20-win season.
“On their home court, we didn’t want to fall down early,” said Otsego coach Tony Koshar. “Early in the second half, Callaway was really good for us. And then down the stretch, Matti really took over from the high post.”
The Regional Final rematch is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Three Rivers and can be heard live on Michigan Sports Radio. Marshall won last year’s meeting 57-37 en route to their state championship. They also met this season, with the Redhawks grabbing a road win 61-36 on December 29.
“Obviously, they’re going to be favored,” said coach Koshar of Marshall. “We’ve got to rebound the basketball, we’ve got to take care of the basketball. If you do those two things, you have an opportunity to be in the game.”
Listen back to Tuesday’s games below:
MARSHALL VS LAKESHORE
OTSEGO VS THREE RIVERS
Listen live Tuesday and Thursday on Michigan Sports Radio to Regional #9 of the MHSAA Class B girls basketball state tournament at Three Rivers High School. Tuesday at 5:30 p.m, the defending Class B state champion Marshall Redhawks (20-2) face the Lakeshore Lancers (18-6). Then around 7 p.m., the hosting Three Rivers Wildcats (10-13) play the Otsego Bulldogs (19-3). The winners meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Regional final.
So far, 6th-ranked Marshall has begun their 2017 postseason the same way they did in 2016, with wins over Comstock (55-29) and Harper Creek (69-31). Like last year, the Redhawks face Lakeshore for their third playoff game and they hope to replicate the 62-44 win from 2016.
For the Lancers, they easily dispatched Berrien Springs (73-28), Benton Harbor (67-15), and Buchanan (59-31) to get back to the regional round. Lakeshore has won 15 or more games in six consecutive seasons, but haven’t gotten beyond the regional round since 2006. They were denied in their last regional final trip in 2013, falling 50-49 to Marshall.
On the other side, few people expected Three Rivers to be involved in the regional beyond their hosting duties. The Wildcats had lost twice in the regular season to Vicksburg and Edwardsburg, but downed them in the district tournament 46-30 and 41-32, respectively. Three Rivers hasn’t made it out of regionals since they were state runner-up in 2011. They’re one of only two teams still in the Class B field with a losing record and once again would have to beat a team they fell to twice in the regular season.
Otsego defeated Three Rivers 49-23 and 60-40 this season and holds a six-game win streak over the Wildcats. They defeated Plainwell (63-44) and Allegan (43-29) in their district tournament. It’s the fifth consecutive 15+ win season for the Bulldogs, who were denied by Marshall in last season’s regional final 57-37. They haven’t gotten through the regional round since the turn of the millennium, falling to Marshall as well in 2013 and to Lakeshore in 2006.
Listen to the Regional 9 games live on Michigan Sports Radio. Marshall meets Lakeshore at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by Otsego and Three Rivers at 7 p.m. The winners face off Thursday at 7 p.m.