Utica Eisenhower senior Luca Ruffino heads the ball during an Oct. 23 regional semifinal win over Utica Ford II.

Utica Eisenhower senior Luca Ruffino heads the ball during an Oct. 23 regional semifinal win over Utica Ford II.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


Eisenhower boys soccer outguns Utica Ford, heads to regional final

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published October 23, 2018

 Utica Ford II senior Gabe Parra readies to send the ball up the field in an Oct. 23 Division 1 regional semifinal against Utica Eisenhower. Parra scored the Falcons lone goal in the contest — a 2-1 Eisenhower win.

Utica Ford II senior Gabe Parra readies to send the ball up the field in an Oct. 23 Division 1 regional semifinal against Utica Eisenhower. Parra scored the Falcons lone goal in the contest — a 2-1 Eisenhower win.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


STERLING HEIGHTS — The boys soccer teams from Utica Eisenhower and Utica Ford II squared off twice this season prior to their Oct. 23 Division 1 regional semifinal, with the Eagles taking both by a combined score of 8-2.

The regional semi was a much more hotly-contested matchup, going into a shootout that saw Eisenhower outscore Ford 3-1 to claim a 2-1 victory.

Eisenhower (17-3-3) advances to face either Berkley High or Warren De La Salle in a regional final set for 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at Stevenson. The state semifinal featuring the winner of the Stevenson regional takes place at 7 p.m. Oct. 31 at Troy High. Time and date for the D-1 state title game has not yet been determined.

The Eagles, champions of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division, almost didn’t make it to extra time or the shootout. The Falcons (9-9-1) led for the first 75 minutes of the match before Eisenhower senior Alan Cetkovic hit a shot off a corner kick from about 15 yards out to tie the match at 1-1 with 5:11 left in regulation.

“I saw an opening and no one from (Ford) matched up with me, so I just had to go for it,” said Cetkovic, who also hit a shot that gave the Eagles a 2-1 advantage in the shootout. “This could have been the last game of the season. I had to put my body out there to try to make a play.”

The Falcons, who went up 1-0 on a goal by senior Gabe Parra 14 minutes into the match, managed one goal in four tries in the shootout. Eagles sophomore goalkeeper Evan DeJong stopped two of the four shots he faced in the shootout, with the other going wide of the net.

“We knew they’d come out and attack and our guys battled,” Ford coach Chris Alston said. “They got the goal at the end and switched some things up. (Eisenhower) is a really good team. That’s the MAC Red champ. I’m proud of how our guys fought.”

The Falcons, who finished fifth in the six-team MAC Red, outscored three opponents 5-1 in the district round and beat No. 1 ranked Troy Athens 1-0 in an Oct. 20 district final. 

The Eagles in the district outscored three foes 18-1 and beat Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 4-1 Oct. 19 in a district final to claim their second straight district crown.

"As teams that play in the MAC Red, we know each other pretty well," Cetkovic said. "Everybody on this field played their hearts out tonight. We just made a few more plays and now we're moving on."