District victory one kick at a time

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Sports Writer
Kickers shut out three foes to claim the MHSAA Boys Soccer District crown and earn the right to challenge for the Regional crown this Thursday in Grand Blanc.
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Clarkston closed the district final with a 2-0 win over Rochester Adams on Saturday with goals from Ethan Wise and Patrick Farrell.
“It was nice,” said Ian Jones, head coach for Clarkston Boys Varsity Soccer. “We played well. We played very controlled and managed the game.”
The Wolves faced off with Stoney Creek in the district semifinals, closing the game with a 1-0 victory, Oct. 18.
“It’s nice to win,” Jones smiled. “It was a game of two halves. Stoney dominated the first half. Then, the second half we started really well and got the goal. Everyone did well.”
Both teams were scoreless going into the second half. Wise attempted a few shots on the net before he put a header in the back of the net off Maclain Zaremba’s corner kick with 26:39 remaining in the game.
“We watched film,” said Jones. “We played them the other week and scored from a similar piece. We knew that area was a danger area so we worked it. Fortunately it paid dividends.”
He added after the goal it became a typical semifinal as the Cougars battled to score on Clarkston.
“You fend for your lives. Teams are going to attack. Fortunately we got the win so it was good,” Jones said.
Noah Bridgeman was the winning goalie in all three shutouts for the Wolves.
“Noah is a great goalkeeper,” Jones said. “It’s like the 12th man at times because he is that good. It takes something very special to be in the background. There were 2-3 chances from Stoney and he saved them.”
The Wolves opened the district tournament with a 5-0 win over Waterford Kettering, Oct. 16. Goals came from Farrell, Jeff Euceda, David Gray, Nathan Murray and Esteban Granja.
Clarkston finished the regular season with just a few wins with most of their losses by just a goal.
“I don’t think the regular season was a fair reflection of how we played all year,” Jones said. “We had problems scoring, but we aren’t out here playing traditional soccer. We have worked hard on developing the play in the back of the field. We only touched on the final third in the last few weeks. It was getting the bounce right. This is what counts – playoffs.”
The Wolves played Detroit Catholic Central on Tuesday in the regional semifinals. They lost 1-0.
Jones added they played them the first game of the season and it was close with a 1-0 loss.
“If they play the way they did against Adams and defend the way they did against Stoney, they have a good chance,” he said.
The regional game starts 7 p.m. with the winner going to state semifinals at Holt on Oct. 31, 6 p.m.