Grosse Ile and Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard took similar, dominant paths to Tuesday’s Division 3 Regional semifinal game. Grosse Ile won both its District games by 8-0 scores while the Irish won their three games by a combined score of 17-0.
So the game on paper looked interesting. On the field, it looked well-played, hard-fought and close – at least for a little while.
Grosse Ile’s Bosh Tayni scored three goals and the Red Devils answered a 1-0 deficit quickly and decisively in a 5-1 victory over FGR at Clarenceville HS to advance to the Regional final.
The Red Devils (17-1-1) will face an impressive Clawson team in the Regional championship game at 7 p.m. on Thursday, also at Clarenceville. Clawson defeated Clinton 8-0 in the first semifinal game that lasted only one half.
Father Gabriel Richard finishes the season with a 10-2-2 record.
It was the Irish that reached the scoreboard first in this game, played on a chilly but at least dry evening in Livonia.
After FGR senior Aiden Lenhardt worked hard to keep the ball in the Grosse Ile end of the field, Chase Gabowitz fired a shot that GI keeper Hayden Watson had no chance to hold onto. Senior Anthony Redente was there to knock in the rebound and give the Irish a 1-0 lead with 34:44 left in the first half.
A few minutes later, FGR’s Lenhardt busted in down the middle but couldn’t push the ball into the net to make it 2-0.
At the other end of the field, the Red Devils finally turned opportunities into goals.
Grosse Ile was awarded a direct kick between the 18-yard box and the sideline and took advantage of the opportunity. Clayton Lafayette crossed the ball and Cannon Kawadri rose above the defense and headed a perfect ball into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 with 25:21 left in the half.
Less than 5 minutes later, Tayni scored his first of the night on a shot from close range to push the Red Devils into the lead at 2-1.
With just over 13 minutes left in the opening half, Tayni made a great defensive play by stealing the ball deep in FGR’s part of the field. The senior cruised in on keeper Kizito Katende and fired a perfect shot to make it 3-1.
With 3:35 left in the first half, Grosse Ile’s Zach Bast scored to give Grosse Ile a 4-1 halftime lead.
Tayni scored his third of the night in the second half with 16:24 left in the game to give Grosse Ile a 5-1 lead.