Grosse Ile boys soccer outguns Lutheran North, heads back to D-3 final

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published October 30, 2019

 Macomb Lutheran North's Sam Caldwell (11) and Grosse Ile High's Cannon Kawadri battle for the ball in Grosse Ile's 1-0 Oct. 30 win in a Division 3 state semifinal. The Red Devils head back to the D-3 final for a second straight year.

Macomb Lutheran North's Sam Caldwell (11) and Grosse Ile High's Cannon Kawadri battle for the ball in Grosse Ile's 1-0 Oct. 30 win in a Division 3 state semifinal. The Red Devils head back to the D-3 final for a second straight year.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

 Macomb Lutheran North's David Mueller, left, leaps to make a play on the ball in a 1-0 Oct. 30 loss to Grosse Ile High in a Division 3 state semifinal.

Macomb Lutheran North's David Mueller, left, leaps to make a play on the ball in a 1-0 Oct. 30 loss to Grosse Ile High in a Division 3 state semifinal.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

HOWELL — The Grosse Ile High boys soccer team hasn’t allowed a goal in six playoff games and is now one win away from a Division 3 state title.

Grosse Ile beat Macomb Lutheran North 1-0 Oct. 30 in a state semifinal.

The Red Devils (23-2-1) have outscored opponents 28-0 so far in the postseason. Grosse Ile returns to the D-3 final for the second straight year and will face either Grand Rapids South Christian or Ludington High. The Red Devils' lone state championship came in 2002.

“We’ve worked so hard as a team to get back to this point,” Red Devils senior goalkeeper Adam Skehan said. “We wanted a chance to win a state title. Words really can’t describe this feeling.

“I have full confidence in my team to get these types of wins.”

Grosse Ile has now bested Lutheran North (15-4-1) in consecutive state semifinals, after a 2-0 win in 2018.

The game-winning goal came off of the foot of Grosse Ile junior Miklos Tanyi with 27:50 left in regulation.

“It was a 50/50 ball,” Mustangs coach Brian Horvath said. “It was basically just throw it into the mixer and see what happens. My guy slipped a little bit. Their guy got the ball and he scored.”

Lutheran North put major pressure on Grosse Ile over the last five minutes of the contest. The Mustangs had a couple of shots go just wide of the net. Lutheran North in a the first half saw a shot from senior Blake Hart go off the post.

“We had a chance in the first half, so it could’ve been a 1-0 game for us,” Horvath said. “We had a couple of other missed opportunities, but I’m proud of the guys and proud of what they’ve done.”

Skehan heaped high praise on the Mustangs. The Red Devils keeper admitted Lutheran North put a lot of pressure on his team.

“They’re probably the best team we’ve played all year,” Skehan said. “They’re probably one of the best teams we’ve ever played, for sure. (Lutheran North) is a tough opponent.”

In battling their way to consecutive state semifinals, Lutheran North has established itself as a major player in D-3. Horvath called the efforts a testament to his players’ mindsets.

“These young men work hard. They put the team first at all costs,” Horvath said. “They come to practice every day and train hard — all of them. What we’ve been able to do is a tribute to the players."

Lutheran North loses 13 players to graduation, including Catholic High School League All-Catholic selections Joey Shore and David Mueller. The team has nine players eligible to return next season.

“I love these guys,” Horvath said. “I’d go to war with any of them — the growth they’ve shown from their freshman year to senior year, the character they’ve show on and off the field, how we’ve done what we’ve done. A lot of teams play for a championship. I like to think our guys play for their brothers, which is why this hurts so much.”

Lutheran North, which outscored opponents 18-4 in six playoff games, has now won eight regional titles. The team has played in two state championship games, winning a Class B title in 1987 and finishing runner-up in 1995.

Grosse Ile will take on Grand Rapids South Christian Nov. 1 for the state title at a time and place to be determined.