By: Dan Stickradt
SOCCER: Troy wins first regional since 2011
BY DAN STICKRADT
BLOOMFIELD HILLS — After a season of high and lows, Troy is apparently peaking at the right time.
The very right time.
Behind 19 seniors, the Colts, who fell out of Division 1 top 20 just before the start of the postseason, regrouped to capture the school’s first regional title since 2011 and fifth overall Friday with a 4-2 triumph over Sterling Heights Stevenson at Bloomfield Hills High School.
Troy (15-6-3) overcame a 1-0 deficit to send the Titans home packing with a 11-9-3 record.
The win avenged a 4-3 loss to Stevenson back on Aug. 21, a game where Troy was missing five starters for disciplinary reasons and blew a 3-1 lead with nine minutes to play.
“I think we were a little more motivated this time,” smiled Troy coach Jimmy Stachura. “Last time I thought we controlled play without all of those starters and blew the game late. Being a regional final, I didn’t have to motivate them at all. They wanted to prove that Troy soccer is back. Having 19 seniors, they are playing well and are peaking at the right time.”
Troy will host the state semifinals Wednesday against 15th-ranked Walled Lake Central, which captured its first regional title Saturday night with a 2-1 win over Grand Blanc.
Senior forward Joey Mason continued his torrid pace, scoring twice to give him 22 goals on the campaign. Senior defender-turned-forward Darius Feier also scored, giving him a team-leading 23 tallies on the season, while senior Frederick Hubacker also found the back of the net for the Colts.
“We’re a hard team to match up because we have more than one kid who can finish,” said Stachura. “We knew what Stevenson was going to do. They always look for Dawsun Schrum. He’s a very talented forward.”
Alex Wystepek finished off a pass in tight space from Schrum to give Stevenson the 1-0 lead midway through the first half. Mason tied the game in the 30th minute for the Colts.
Hubacker and Feier scored for Troy to give the Colts a 3-1 cushion, only to see Schrum intercept a clearing pass before booting one home to trim the deficit down to a goal.
Mason iced the game with a late tally for Troy, sending the Colts to their fifth regional title in school history. Troy also won regional crowns in 1994, 1996, 2003 and 2011.
Will Myers and Nolan Regan split time in goal, collecting six saves in the win.
“We knew at the beginning of the season that we had the potential to be a very good team, but we went through a lull late in the season and lost some league games,” said Stachura. “But we are one win away from playing in a state final and we’ll be ready. Plus, we’ll get a chance to play on our home field, which should give us a light advantage. Walled Lake Central is very good. They are 21-1-2 for a reason. We think we’ll match up well them."