Late goal lifts Lamphere boys soccer past Warren Woods Tower in district final

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published October 16, 2019

 Madison Heights Lamphere junior Zachary Milz lines up a shot in an Oct. 14 Division 2 district semifinal win over Warren Fitzgerald. The rams downed Warren Woods Tower 2-0 in an Oct. 16 district final.

Madison Heights Lamphere junior Zachary Milz lines up a shot in an Oct. 14 Division 2 district semifinal win over Warren Fitzgerald. The rams downed Warren Woods Tower 2-0 in an Oct. 16 district final.

Photo by Donna Agusti

 Warren Woods Tower players celebrate a goal in an Oct. 14 Division 2 district playoff win. The Titans won a division title before falling in a district final.

Warren Woods Tower players celebrate a goal in an Oct. 14 Division 2 district playoff win. The Titans won a division title before falling in a district final.

Photo by Donna Agusti

MADISON HEIGHTS — It may have been a bit of hyperbole, but Madison Heights Lamphere junior captain Alex Daraban had some strong feelings after his goal with 2:19 left in regulation lifted the Rams to a 1-0 win over Warren Woods Tower Oct. 16 in a Division 2 district final.

“That’s probably the biggest moment I’ll ever have in my life,” Daraban said. “I knew we needed to get something out of that chance, so I just did what I could and it went in.”

Daraban’s goal came after the ball took an odd bounce and just got past the Tower goalkeeper. The Rams advance to take either Linden High or Fenton High in a D-2 regional semifinal at 5 p.m. Oct. 22 at Fenton High.

“I played keeper and I’ve seen that kind of shot before,” Lamphere coach Blake Reedy said. “The rain that came down earlier probably made the ball come off the turf a little faster than it might have otherwise.”

The triumph gives Lamphere (15-2-2) its first district title since 2014. The win is also the first for the Rams over the Titans this season in three tries. The teams are members of the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division. Tower (16-4-3) edged out Lamphere for a division title.

“They took the division from us, so I guess this is only right,” Reedy said. “(Tower) is one of the teams we always look forward to playing. We know it’ll always be a tough, hard-fought, well-played game, and tonight was no different.”

Titans coach Josh Milligan encouraged his players to stay positive. Milligan said multiple players attempted to take the blame for the setback, but he assured the players they would have another chance to avenge this loss.

“The guys fought really hard,” Milligan said. “It was just an odd bounce that did us in. We had our chances. We just didn’t capitalize.”

Reedy said a combination of strong senior leadership and talent have played a major role in the team’s success.

“I knew we’d fight,” Reedy said, “but the team has been great this season.”