Northview's Justin Marquardt backs off as Michael Wainz of St. Francis leaps to advance the ball in a district semifinal.
Fifth-ranked Anthony Wayne certainly looked the part in a Division I boys district soccer semifinal last night.
So did sixth-ranked Northview, like AW a member of the Northern lakes League.
AW disposed of St. John's Jesuit 3-0 in their semifinal match before Northview showed plenty of grit and will by outlasting St. Francis de Sales for a 1-0 victory at Southview High.
The two NLL foes, who dueled to a scoreless tie during the regular season, will meet in a district final at Southview on Saturday afternoon at 2.
"I think we're similar teams," said Northview coach Ryan Creech. "We're both attacking teams. Both are strong defensively and have very good
The Generals scored all their goals against the Titans during the first 40 minutes of play. Mike Mangotic, Logan Lipinski and Troy Thompson registered a goal apiece to lead the Generals (16-0-3) past St. John's (9-5-3).
AW coach Chip Smith thinks St. John's was more aggressive early before the Generals' leading scorer broke the scoreless tie.
"We had a couple of moments of brilliance and I think the first goal caught them off guard," Smith said. "After that we woke up."
Anthony Wayne's Alex Lohse (11) watches as teammate Chris Holzer and St. John's Ian Appold try the head the ball. The Generals won easily after the teams tied 1-1 in the regular season.
Northview's Dan Cooperider scored the only goal of the game against St. Francis when he put back a rebound off a Wildcats penalty kick in the first half. The goal held up for the Wildcats (16-1-2). The Knights fell to 8-3-4.
"It bounced back and I guessed right," Cooperider said, recalling his recovering the loose ball and putting it past St. Francis goalie Pat Dyer. "It wasn't pretty but we'll take it."
St. Francis coach Lee Aliakbar commended his team for the effort against the Wildcats, as well as their play all season.
"They really exceeded our expectations," Aliakbar said. "We're the team that no one wanted to play in the draw."
In the opening semifinal, AW played at a pace a step or two quicker than its opponent. The result was the Generals taking quick control.
Mangotic started the run when he booted a shot into the back of the net. His 30th goal of the season proved to be the game-winner.
"We came out strong," Mangotic said. "Coach [Chip Smith] told us to come out strong and we'd win."
Even though the Titans played the Generals to a 1-1 tie during the regular season the Generals showed themselves to be the stronger team in the first half.
Lipinski made it 2-0 when he scored on a penalty kick during the 33rd minute of play.
Thompson padded the lead approximately four minutes later with a goal from close range.
"We dug ourselves a hole going down 3-0," St. John's coach Dan Weisenburger said.
AW goalie Mac Church was credited with six saves while St. John's goalie Nick Wazielewski recorded five.
Church said the Generals were ready to face the Titans and also thought they gained complete control of the match once Lipinski made good on the penalty kick.
"That second goal put us in a good position and also the fouls they committed helped us," Church said. "We kept it pretty clean."
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6302.