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Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills

October 23, 2012

Country Day soccer keeps title hopes alive with 3-1 victory over Lumen Christi in D-3 regional

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Brenton Desai (10) scored twice for Country Day, including the game winner with just 7:19 remaining in regulation. Country Day beat Lumen Christi 3-1.

FARMINGTON HILLS — He had the ball on his foot at point-blank range.

One well-placed shot here would give his team the lead, and with less than eight minutes remaining in the second half, likely the win.

Brent Desai wound up and drilled one, only to have the chance stopped on a sprawling effort.

The rebound, however, was his, and just seconds after having his first blast saved, Desai slammed home his second goal of the game, giving Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day an eventual 3-1 victory against Jackson Lumen Christi in a Division 3 regional semifinal at Farmington Hills Harrison Tuesday night.

“When the goalie made the save on the initial shot, I thought I had blown the last chance to win the game,” Desai said with a laugh. “I was just ready and relieved when it came right back to me.”

“It wasn’t a pretty win, but it’s a big one,” coach Bob Bukari said. “We certainly weren’t at our best, but this is a team that has just three kids with playoff experience, and I think the atmosphere got to some of the guys. We got better as the game went on.”

Dasai scored the first goal of the night with 13:58 remaining in the opening half.

From there on out, Country Day played keep away from the Titans, handling the ball for portions of time in its own zone before clearing it to safety.

Lumen Christi got one good chance in the second half, though, and with 10:08 remaining in the game, Marko Gleeson slammed home a pass and evened things at 1-1.

Desai, who had an earlier goal disallowed, notched the winner less than three minutes later.

Ajay Gudivada scored the game’s final goal as time expired, and Country Day now moves on to face Grosse Ile High in a regional final, set for 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at Harrison.

“We’ve had some battles with them in the past,” Bukari said with a smile. “They are a big, physical team. It’s going to be a battle.”

The Yellowjackets, now 15-7-3, are three wins away from defending last year’s state title.

In other regional action:
Walled Lake Central reached its first regional final in program history following a 1-0 overtime win against Traverse City Central.

Mark Gjura scored the game’s lone goal with nine minuets left in the second overtime, sending the Vikings (13-6-2) to a 6 p.m. Oct. 25 regional final against Grand Blanc High at Troy High.

Grand Blanc beat Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 5-3 in overtime in the other regional semifinal.

“This means so much to everyone right now,” Central coach Joel Sharpe said. “I’ve been coaching here for 16 years and the program’s been here 30 years. To coach the school I played for, and take things this far and make the history we have, is super cool.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.