Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s Stewart Smith battles for the ball against Royal Oak Shrine earlier in the playoffs. The Knights played Clarkston Everest Collegiate in a Division 4 state semifinal after press time.

Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett’s Stewart Smith battles for the ball against Royal Oak Shrine earlier in the playoffs. The Knights played Clarkston Everest Collegiate in a Division 4 state semifinal after press time.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Local soccer teams make playoff runs

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 29, 2019

GROSSE POINTES — As the soccer season continues to wind down, the championship is in sight for a handful of programs.

In Division 4, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett was one of those teams, as it played Clarkston Everest Collegiate Oct. 30, after press time, in the state semifinals. For updated scores, visit can dgnews.com/sports.

After a strong regular season, the Knights carried that momentum into the postseason. In four games played, Liggett had outscored its opponents 14-3.

“We’re constantly reminding them, this is a really unusual opportunity. Not many teams are still playing,” Knights coach David Dwaihy said. “You want to focus and work your butt off, but also you want to just enjoy it and take it all in, because these moments are rare and fleeting.”

Dwaihy is no stranger to coaching state championship-caliber teams. He is also the Knights’ girls coach, and they won a state title in 2016.

On the boys side, Liggett’s last state title came back in 1999.

“We don’t have a game on Saturday (the state final Nov. 2) if we don’t take care of business on Wednesday,” Dwaihy said. “The whole ‘one game at a time’ mentality has been really something we’ve been harping on.”

Should Liggett knock off Everest Collegiate, the Knights would play for a state title Nov. 2 at either Novi High or Comstock Park High. The site and time were not available at press time.

In Division 1, Grosse Pointe South’s playoff run ended with a 4-0 regional semifinal game loss to Ann Arbor Pioneer Oct. 23.

Despite the loss, coach Francesco Cilano was proud of the way his team played throughout the season. Along with a district title, the Blue Devils ended the season with a 13-3-5 mark.

“The season was amazing,” Cilano said. “Overall, I cannot ask better of my kids. We played beautiful soccer.”

With the success they had this season, the Blue Devils will look to continue building on it next year.

It will help that South will be returning a wealth of players. The Blue Devils lose just five seniors.

“It’s a great achievement,” Cilano said. “We need to go higher now. ... We need to just think about regional and state (titles).”