Walled Lake Northern boys soccer captures district title

By: Sue Teggart | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published November 1, 2011

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Walled Lake Northern (14-4-4) soccer coach Chris Stevanovic admitted that his team struggled this season, mostly due to a difficulty with capitalizing on scoring opportunities.

After finishing tops in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division for the fourth straight year and winning the Lakes Conference title, Stevanovic knew finishing on their chances would be key in the postseason.

But when the district tournament began, all those troubles were soon forgotten, and the Knights captured a Division 1 district title Oct. 22. WLN went on to defeat Grand Blanc High 1-0 in an Oct. 25 regional semifinal to advance to an Oct. 29 regional final against Troy High, played after press time. The state semifinals are Nov. 2, and the final is Nov. 5.

“It means a lot for the guys,” Stevanovic said about capturing the district title. “It was our main goal going into the season. Last year, we lost in the final to Troy 1-0, so I know this group wanted to get a little bit of revenge after ending the way we did last year.

“After the game Saturday, the boys were relieved, but still wanted more,” Stevanovic continued. “It was a starting point for, hopefully, more success.”

Senior goalkeeper Mitchell Thompson said after falling short of winning the district last year, the entire program has a sense of accomplishment after capturing the title this year,

“We worked so hard for this during the season,” said Thompson of Commerce Township. “It’s just a feeling of accomplishment. We felt bad because we fell short last year, and we wanted to prove that we are still a good team, and we are still capable of doing great things.”

Stevanovic said the Knights flipped a switch in the postseason and didn’t have a problem finding the back of the net, outscoring opponents 9-1 en route to the district title.

“Our biggest hurdle all year was scoring goals,” Stevanovic said. “Our first game against Walled Lake Central, we put three in the back of the net, which was big for us. We rarely score a lot of goals. Then, against Catholic Central, we scored two quick goals; our finishing was very good. Throughout the year, we struggled in this area, but something is turning on at the right time.

“The performance in districts was good,” Stevanovic continued. “We didn’t play our best against North Farmington, but we scored three goals.”

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