Lake Shore boys soccer team falls one match short of regional title
BLOOMFIELD HILLS— In winning a second straight Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 district title, along with winning the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division for the first time, its safe to say the St. Clair Shores Lake Shore boys soccer team made a strong showing in 2012.
“It was quite a season. This team made history at Lake Shore,” senior captain Marcus Barnett said.
The Shorians fell one match short of another milestone — a D-2 regional title. Lake Shore lost 1-0 to Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook in a D-2 regional final played Oct. 27 at Bloomfield Hills Lahser.
“Winning back-to-back district titles, winning the MAC Blue Division for the first time and playing in a regional final two years in a row is special,” said Barnett, who plays midfielder and forward. “Not too many teams can say they have accomplished that.”
Shorians coach Dave Lount said his team had the edge in scoring opportunities in the regional final, but that Cranbrook capitalized on a loose ball around the Lake Shore net to record the match’s only score.
The Shorians (17-2-4, 8-1-3 MAC Blue) didn’t capitalize on similar opportunities, according to Lount.
“I told (the players), sometimes it hurts more when the game is so close and you know you could have won,” Lount said. “They should be proud of the way they represented themselves and the school.
“If they continue to work hard, they will be back next season.”
Lount said his team met, or exceeded, goals it set for itself prior to the start of the season. He said that makes him feel good as a coach.
In advancing to a regional final, Lake Shore knocked off Dearborn Divine Child 2-1 Oct. 24 at Lahser in a regional semifinal. The Shorians routed St. Clair High 7-0 Oct. 18 at Lake Shore to capture their second straight district title.
The Shorians outscored their opponents 22-3 in five playoff matches.
Lake Shore should be primed to make another run in 2013, as it returns the majority of its starters, including junior Mike Swarthout — a captain and the Shorians’ leading scorer.
Lount said he expects Swarthout, juniors Mike DeMara, Cam Bastien, Luke Warrick and Joey Podsiadly to lead Lake Shore in 2013. All of those players will be in at least their third year with the Shorians.
Lake Shore does lose seven seniors, who Lount says will be difficult to replace.
“In their four years, we have a record of 64-11-11, three division championships, two district championships and have been to back-to-back regional finals,” Lount said. “Two of the seniors — Barnett and Jaylin Harris — were both four-year varsity starters and an on the All-State team last year.”
Barnett said his fondest memory would be changing people’s minds about soccer.
“The one thing I’ll never forget about this season is all the people who told me they never liked soccer,” Barnett said, “but they enjoyed watching us play, and their views on the sport have changed.”