The Father Gabriel Richard soccer team used a proven formula to win a District title last week. The Irish won three games without allowing a single goal – it’s very hard to lose a game when you don’t allow a goal.
After knocking off Blissfield 2-0 in the opener, the Irish blanked Ida 5-0 in Tuesday’s semifinal game at Stockbridge. FGR met Manchester in the finals – they advanced with a 4-1 win over Grass Lake – on Thursday also at Stockbridge.
After scoreless first half, the Irish went on the offensive in the second half, scoring twice in a 2-0 win to advance to the Regionals. The Irish face always tough Grosse Ile (20-2-1) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at David B. McDowell Field at Shaw Stadium in Livonia (hosted by Livonia Clarenceville). The other side of the bracket features Detroit Frontier vs. Hanover-Horton. The final is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24.
In the game against Manchester, possession was strongly skewed in FGR’s direction.
“Both teams played a competitive first half but we had a few more shots and opportunities than Manchester,” said FGR Coach John Redente. “The second half was much stronger for us, we played with a bit more fire and focus than in the first half.”
The Irish’s first goal came at about around 55 minutes when Joeseph Smail carried a ball down the line and crossed from the right corner to a finishing header from Chase Gabowitz.
The second goal came around the 72-minute mark. After running into a defensive wall, Shane Heiser dropped a ball to Ryan Cahalan who scored from about 22 yards out for an insurance goal.
FGR is playing as well as Coach Redente was hoping they would be at this point in the season.
“The season has been progressing as well as could be expected,” he said. “My goal of constant improvement with a focus on mastering the details has been well received by the players, while still being a difficult task to accomplish.”
Winning Districts was a good first-year accomplishment for the a new coaching staff.
“The boys have consistently stepped up and players from all corners of the team have contributed along the way,” he said. “We truly are coming together in a manner that exemplifies ‘we over me.’ We will approach Regional like we have every game; focused on playing selfless team soccer with relentless effort.”