By: Dan Stickradt
BOYS SOCCER: Oakland Christian seeking redemption in postseason, blanks Roeper
BY DAN STICKRADT
AUBURN HILLS — Letting a league championship slip away in the last week of the regular season, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian is trying to use the postseason as a chance at redemption.
The 12th-ranked Lancers opened up Division 4 district play Tuesday with a resounding 6-0 shutout of longtime nemesis Birmingham Roeper.
Oakland Christian will face Novi Franklin Road Christian Thursday at 4 p.m. in the district semifinals.
Oakland Christian needed a win against Plymouth Christian to gain a tie of the MIAC Blue Division, but that upset loss gave Allen Park Inter-City Baptist the title outright.
“That was disappointing because we had a shot at the league and let it slip away,” admitted first-year Oakland Christian coach Patrick Reyes. “We had a hard time scoring goals in a few games and that last loss cost us a share of the league. But I’m pleased with the way we played in this one. We were very focused.”
The Lancers (9-8-2) scored just five minutes into the game to set the tone and allowed the youthful Roughriders only two shots during the game’s final 10 minutes in causing to the win.
Joey Seidel had a goal and two assists, including the first goal just 4:59 into the game, which proved to the game-winner.
Lucas Brattinga, who assisted on the first goal, added a goal with 7:32 left in the first half to provide the Lancers with a two-goal cushion.
Oakland Christian outshot Roeper 12-0 in the first half and tacked on four more goals after halftime.
“I think scoring the early goal made us relax a little and just play soccer,” said Reyes. “That last time we played Roeper we only beat them 3-2. We got the early lead on them and never really let up.”
In fact, the Lancers scored three goals in a span of 2:15 of the second half to break the game open. David Arvedol converted a penalty kick with 14:53 remaining after a teammate was tripped up in the box, and Battinga banged home another PK 1:51 later for a 4-0 advantage.
Arvedol scored his second goal of the contest when he finished off a breakaway feed from Seidel with 12:38 to play, while Kyle Barba scored off another assist from Seidel with 6:51 left to cap the scoring.
Sophomore Austin Carter only had to make one save for the shutout.
Roper didn’t even attempt a shot until there was 6:41 left and that was a shot wide of the goal. Carter turned aside another shot one minute later.
Roeper, the state champions three years ago, finished 8-11-2 during a major rebuilding season.
“As a coach you always want to finish above five-hundred, but this was one of the youngest teams I’ve ever had here at Roeper. Winning eight games was a ice accomplishment for this team,” noted veteran Roeper coach Ed Sack. “We are very young with only two seniors and three juniors on the entire roster and one senior is not a starter. We had three freshmen that started in the back and had several sophomores on the field today. I think we can be a good team in a couple of years. We improved a lot over the course of the season. We just didn’t have a very good game today. This game kind of got away from us.”
MORE DIVISION 4
ROCHESTER HILLS LUTHERAN NORTHWEST 5, WEST BLOOMFIELD JEWISH ACADEMY 0: Lutheran Northwest received little resistance Tuesday in this Division 4 pre-district Tuesday over the Jaguars.
Five different players scored for the Crusaders (8-5-4), who will host fifth-ranked Royal Oak Shrine Catholic Thursday in the district semifinals.
MADISON HEIGHTS LAMPHERE 1, AUBURN HILLS AVONDALE 0: Lamphere picked up a first-half goal and the Rams made it stand in this Division 2 pre-district Tuesday in Madison Heights.
Lamphere (6-10-1) will visit host Farmington Harrison Wednesday in the district semifinals at 5 p.m. Harrison blanked Farmington 1-0 in another pre-district.
Avondale finishes 2-15-1.