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Oakland County, Macomb County

October 23, 2012

Groves soccer downs L'Anse Creuse North

Falcons advance to regioanl final with 4-1 win

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

FRASER – Birmingham Groves defeated Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 4-1 in an Oct. 23 Division 1 regional semifinal soccer game at Fraser High.

The Falcons advance to a 6 p.m. Oct. 26 regional final at Fraser against Utica Ford II.

Groves got on the board early after senior Erik Lundin scored a little less than a minute into the game off an assist by senior Sam Kepes.

“The biggest key for us was the fast start,” Groves coach Jim Stachura said. “Starting off quick like that was huge. After that, everything kind of fell into place.”

Lundin scored again with about 24 minutes remaining in the first half, this time off an assist from junior Alex Lurz, to put Groves up 2-0. The goal was Lundin’s sixth in four playoff games. He didn’t score at all during the regular season as he battled injuries.

“Now we’re starting to finish our chances, which makes us dangerous,” Stachura said.

The Falcons made it 3-0 when junior Justin Brink scored a few minutes later, off another assist from Lurz.

North got its lone goal of the game nearly midway through the second half, as senior Nick Miramonti scored to make it 3-1.

Groves answered, though, going back up by three goals when junior Iain Mason scored with 10:45 left to play.

North coach Elmir Sabanovic said it wasn’t just the first goal, but all three in the first 20 minutes of the game, that knocked the Crusaders back a bit.

“That was a morale killer to start off,” he said. “We got unlucky a couple of times, didn’t finish our opportunities.

“We played a great second half, but when you’re (down) 3-0 at halftime, it’s hard to come back from that.”

Groves improved to 12-5-8 overall, while North wraps up the season 12-6-4.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.