Soccer: Huron wins District title with 1-0 win over Skyline – see WLAA photogallery (80 photos)   

Early in the second half, the Huron River Rats were pressuring on the Skyline side of the pitch and had their best scoring chance of the game when a shot off a direct kick by Jessica Clyde drilled the crossbar. Oftentimes when that happens, the other team goes down and scores. But not this time.

A few minutes after the clank off the crossbar, Clyde dribbled the ball into space  and fired a shot that reached the back of the Skyline net to give Huron a 1-0 lead in the District final at Dexter on Saturday afternoon. The River Rats’ defense and keeper Elena Leucht took it from there and kept the Eagles off the board for a 1-0 win and a Division 1 District title.


Huron (12-3-3) advances to the Regionals hosted by Dearborn High. The River Rats will face Belleville (13-5) on Wednesday. Grosse Pointe South will play Northville in the other semifinal game. The finals are at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Huron Coach Muralidharan Nair expected another close game with the talented Eagles and that’s exactly what happened on a perfect day for soccer on the turf at Dexter.

“We did not have a great start,” said Nair. “However, during the last 15 minutes of the first half we began to exert some control and continued to play well for the rest of the game.

“I am extremely proud of these young women for their perseverance and their ability to dig deep when it is required of them. They are wonderful to coach and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”


The Eagles played a strong game as well and put on some intense pressure in the second half after falling behind. Late in the game it appeared they had scored the equalizer but the goal was waived off because of offsides. A few minutes later, a possible handball inside the box wasn’t called despite pleas from the Skyline sideline.

Both teams had opportunities but the game overall was fairly even and extremely well played. The game was physical and intense, but also played with sportsmanship and respect – something that deserves to be noted and celebrated.

The road to this District title was as challenging as any in the state. Skyline, Saline and Dexter all have a history of dominant soccer programs and all three were strong again this year in the SEC Red. The Eagles finished first with the Dreadnaughts a close second.

Huron defeated Lincoln 1-0 in the first round and then knocked off host Dexter 5-2 in the semifinals. Skyline drew a bye and defeated Saline on penalty kicks in their semifinal game.