Troy Athens perseveres for boys soccer regional title – The Detroit News
Troy — Troy Athens goalie Mason Maziasz guessed right and saved a shot off the foot of Macomb Dakota’s Brendan Moore to give Athens a 3-2 (5-4) win Tuesday for a Division 1 regional championship.
“I can’t even describe the feeling right now,” Maziasz said. “I had to keep my mind focused and help my team get through this.”
Last Friday night, Athens (18-4-2) and Dakota (13-4-3) met and played to a 2-2 tie in regulation and two overtime periods. After a misinterpretation of how the shootout was supposed to work cost Dakota a goal, Athens walked off the field with what it thought was a victory.
Both teams scored in the first three rounds of the shootout, but in the fourth round, referees ruled that a Dakota player took his shot out of turn and nullified his goal.
In fact, there is no such rule in the MHSAA rulebook, and it was decided that the teams would meet back at Athens Tuesday and start the fourth round over with the shootout tied 3-3.
“It wasn’t handled how it was supposed to be,” said the MHSAA’s John Johnson. “The officials said that you must kick in a particular order and there is no such verbiage in our tournament policy.”
In Tuesday’s shootout, Athens and Dakota each scored on their first tries, and it was Shamik Patel’s goal at the start of the fifth round that proved to be the difference.
“I don’t know if there’s a true winner here,” Athens coach Todd Heugh said. “I’m super proud of our kids for being able to deal with this and remain mentally strong.”
After seeing his team’s season end for a second time in less than a week, Dakota coach Stefano Moraccini couldn’t hold back his emotions.
“That’s a lot of pressure for a 17-year-old kid to deal with for four days,” he said. “I feel terrible. Hats off to (Athens), but that’s a lot of pressure for a lot of young boys to think about from Saturday to Tuesday.”
Athens advances to a Wednesday Division 1 semifinal against Rochester.
Troy Athens vs. Rochester, at Troy, 7 p.m.
Novi vs. Kentwood, at Holt, 6 p.m.
Dearborn Divine Child vs. Fenton, at Auburn Hills Avondale, 6 p.m.
East Lansing vs. Mattawan, at Grand Rapids Christian, 7 p.m.
Flint Powers Catholic vs. Lansing Catholic, at Howell Parker Middle School, 6 p.m.
Charlevoix vs. Grand Rapids Catholic Central, at Cedar Springs, 6 p.m.
Genessee Christian vs. Ann Arbor Greenhills, at Troy Athens, 7 p.m.
Muskegon Catholic Central vs. Kalazazoo Hackett, at East Kentwood Crestwood Middle School, 6 p.m.