Liggett falls in penalty kicks in D-4 state soccer final

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 2, 2019

 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's Nolan Ondersma plays the ball against Muskegon Western Michigan Christian Nov. 2. Liggett fell in penalty kicks 2-1.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett's Nolan Ondersma plays the ball against Muskegon Western Michigan Christian Nov. 2. Liggett fell in penalty kicks 2-1.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

NOVI –– Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett and Muskegon Western Michigan Christian entered the Division 4 soccer state final game Nov. 2 at Novi High as near identical squads. 

Liggett was 18-2-1 and had outscored its opponents 19-3 in five playoff games, while the Warriors were 18-2-3 and had outscored their opponents 27-1 in six postseason contests. 

The game played out just as the records would suggest, as neither team could gain much of an edge throughout. The score was tied 0-0 after overtime and went to penalty kicks. 

Defense would remain the story in penalty kicks as both keepers came up with crucial saves. In the end, however, Western Michigan Christian’s goalie Jameson Goorman was able to slam the door shut and give the Warriors a 2-1 penalty kick win. 

“I think I’ve been in four PK shootouts in the last three years, so I’ve had a lot of experience there,” Goorman said.

For Liggett, the season ends in heartbreaking fashion, but Knights coach David Dwaihy applauded his team's play in the game and throughout the season. 

Liggett ends the year with an 18-3-1 mark, while winning the Catholic High School League Intersectional 1 along with district and regional titles. 

“They get to lift the trophy, but I couldn’t feel better about how we played and how we represented ourselves, so a lot of positives to take away from it,” Dwaihy said. “It’s a great learning experience to really want something and go for it and give it your all and come up a little short. It’s going to happen in other parts of life, and it’s a really good thing to feel and deal with and move on from.” 

The Knights will lose six seniors from this year’s squad and Dwaihy was very appreciative of their efforts for the program over the years. 

“We kind of challenged them in the beginning of the season when we realized we had a lot of potential. We challenged them, ‘Let’s see if we can be one of the best teams in Liggett history,’ and I think we definitely reached that mark,” Dwaihy said of his seniors. 

The Knights will return a lot of talent next season, including Stewart Smith, Sam Sword and Sheikh Manneh among others. 

With that wealth of talent, Dwaihy is excited to see what the future holds for his program. 

“We lose some key, key guys. Some guys that are going to be impossible to replace,” Dwaihy said. “I’m excited for the underclassmen to step up and fill some of those roles, and we have a very talented junior class this year, so next year, I think we’ll be right back at it.”