By: Daniel Stickradt
BOYS SOCCER: MHSAA decides to allow Dakota-Athens shootout to be re-played
BY DAN STICKRADT
EAST LANSING — The Michigan High School Athletic Association ruled Saturday evening that it will allow the shootout between Troy Athens and Macomb Dakota from Friday’s Division 1 regional final to be re-contested.
On Friday, Athens edged Dakota, 3-2, following a controversial 4-3 shootout to determine the winner.
The Red Hawks had celebrated its first regional title in nearly two decades. The ruling came down from the MHSAA Saturday night that, in its findings, the MHSAA Soccer Tournament overtime procedure was incorrectly applied when, during the penalty kicks that followed overtime, onsite officials voided a successful goal by an eligible Dakota player for shooting out of order for his team. MHSAA Soccer Tournament overtime policies do not require that players shoot in a particular order for their team.
Due to this misapplication of an MHSAA administrative tournament policy, the Division 1 boys soccer regional final between Macomb Dakota and Troy Athens will resume at 4 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 1) at Troy Athens.
In this instance, it was an MHSAA administrative tournament policy that was misapplied, not a National Federation of State High Associations game playing rule. A goal was properly scored in the shootout and then taken away after a subsequent kick by each team. Misapplication of NFHS game playing rules cannot be changed after the fact.
The tie-breaking shootout will reconvene tied at 3-3 and will commence with the fourth shooters.
The two teams had completed regulation play and timed overtime tied at 2-2 before the controversial ruling took effect in the shootout.
Dakota appealed with the MHSAA and has won its appeal.
Athens (17-4-2), which tied for third in the OAA Red Division, and Dakota (14-4-3), which finished third in the MAC Red Division, are vying for the fourth spot in the MHSAA Division 1 Final Four. The opponent for the winner will be Rochester, which won its regional last Thursday in a 1-0 victory over Grand Blanc.
Rochester (15-3-5) tied Athens for third in its league. If Athens ends up winning the re-take it will be the Red Hawks’ first regional title since 1998. Dakota has never been to the Final Four — and its regional finals game with Athens is the furthest the Cougars have ever advanced since the school opened in 1995.
The state semifinals are slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Troy High School.
East Kentwood (14-3-5) and Novi (14-2-4) will compete in the other state semifinal Wednesday at Holt High School.