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Shelby Township, Utica, Rochester Hills

October 14, 2013

Utica Eisenhower blanks Stoney Creek in district opener

Brundirks leads Eagles to shutout win

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

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Utica Eisenhower blanks Stoney Creek in district opener
Utica Eisenhower's Ben Campbell dribble during the district opener on Monday night. Campbell scored a goal to lift Eisenhower to a 3-0 win.

Utica Eisenhower used timely strikes and flawless goalkeeping to defeat visiting Stoney Creek in the opening round of distrcits Monday night 3-0.

Giuseppe Palazzolo opened the scoring for Eisenhower with 15:18 left in the first half.

Less than four minutes later, Olaf Szemraj gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead by out-hustling the Stoney defense to a loose ball in front of the keeper to tap a shot into the goal.

"Olaf (Szemraj) is just one of those athletes who's a true gamer. He went out with determination just to get a touch, and when he gets his head up and all of a sudden the ball is in the back of the net, that's one of the greatest feelings in the world," Eisenhower coach Josh VanHouten said.

Eisenhower turned to its keeper, Brandon Brundirks, to preserve the 2-0 lead from there. Having already made one point-blank save early in the first half, Brundirks made one fingertip save a minute into the second half before stopping a penatly kick with 15 minutes left in the contest.

"His first save actually led the momentum shift for us. If they put that in the back (of the net) then it's all them, but we come down and score two goals," VanHouten said. "He made a second one and then the penalty kick, it was an amaizing effort out of him."

Ben Campbell capped off the victory for Eisenhower by scoring with 1:33 to go in the game.

Eisenhower (14-2-2) will play the winner of Romeo and Rochester Admas at 7 P.M. at Swinehart Field in Shelby Township. Stoney Creek ends its season with a record of 11-7-5.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Thomas Franz at tfranz@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040.