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Farmington Hills

October 23, 2013

Raiders end season in hard-luck loss to Northville in districts

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Sam Zapata is one of 11 players who could return to the team in 2014. The Raiders fell to Northville in a shootout in the district opener.

FARMINGTON HILLS — The goal all season was to mature, build and set up the future for plenty of success.

As North Farmington soccer coach Mike Horner assessed the 2013 season, he couldn’t help but feel that all missions were complete.

And then some.

“I think this was a very successful season,” the Raiders’ coach said a day after his squad lost in a Division 1 district opener. “We scheduled some very tough teams this year  and played well against all of them. These guys really grew up.”

Facing district host Northville High in the opener, North Farmington battled to a scoreless draw after regulation.

Northville scored in the game’s first overtime, but the Raiders evened things in the second overtime frame to force a shootout.

Northville scored on all five of its shots.

North Farmington’s final shot was stopped, and the season ended in a 2-1 setback.

“We played a great game against a very good team,” Horner boasted.

And that was the case most of the season.

Despite fielding a younger team without much varsity experience at all, Horner scheduled some dandies along the way.

His guys only got better as the year went on.

In the season’s final month, the Raiders tied a Dearborn High team that was 8-1 at the time, beat a Berkley High team many considered one of the stronger squads in the area, and also beat a Novi Detroit Catholic Central team that reached the district final.

“We got much better as the year went on,” Horner said. “We improved from one game to the next because I think, as the year went on, they accepted the roles and learned to play more and more as a team. … We battled in this game. We battled back and gave it everything we had.”

Horner expects more to come in the future, too.

“I really like what’s happening here,” he said. “We could return half our roster next season, along with a great freshman class coming in. We should be able to start the season at a higher level and really take off from there.”

North Farmington finished the season 7-7-4.

In other district action
Farmington High had its season come to a close in a 1-0 loss to Novi High in an opener at the Northville district.

Farmington Hills Harrison was also eliminated in the opening round of the Northville district. The Hawks fell to Livonia Stevenson 2-1.

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