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Dakota defeats GP North in regional semifinal PHOTO GALLERY

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Petz scores twice for Cougars

TROY >> Dakota boys soccer coach Stefano Moraccini knew once his Cougars got their first goal, more were going to follow.

He was spot on.

The Cougars got a pair of goals from Brendan Petz, just over five minutes apart in the first half, and then one each from Darko Stojonovski and Luigi Idhia in the second half as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Grosse Pointe North in a Division 1 regional semifinal at Troy Athens on Wednesday.

“It’s always important to get that first goal,” Moraccini said. “He made some really nice saves at the beginning and kept them in there for a while. Once we got the first one I saw that they were playing a little bit more defensively so I kept telling my boys they needed to keep bringing them out and then go back in. We did that until we finally got one it.”

Dakota, which finished tied for fourth in the MAC Red, plays Troy Athens on Friday at 7 p.m. for the regional championship.

Athens defeated De La Salle, 2-0, in the second game of the night Wednesday.

“My boys kept everyone in front of them and when the opportunities did arise they capitalized on them,” Moraccini said. “We played well, kept possession and knocked the ball around. We had several opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on that we should of, but overall I’m pleased with their play.”

Petz’s first goal came after a cross inside the 18-yard box from Justin Schodowski. Petz turned to swing the ball onto his right foot before beating the GPN keeper Alex Siluk with 20:24 left in the first half.

Just over five minutes later, Petz had his second goal of the match, pouncing on a rebound left by Siluk after a save on Idhia.

Stojonovski put the game away for Dakota 11 minutes into the second half, banging home another rebound off a shot by Nick Stander.

Idhia put up the Cougars’ fourth goal off a finely hit free kick from 25 yards out.

GPN (10-10-2), which finished fourth in the MAC White, lost captain Maxwell Murray to a foot injury early in the first half.

“He’s helped us all season,” GPN coach Eric Vanston said of his keeper. “We wouldn’t be the team we are without him. We knew they were going to possess, just needed to keep our shape. It was tough. We gave up that goal and we lost our captain. That’s not an excuse, but a five-minute spell happened.

“They were better than us,” Vanston added. “They’re a good team and took care of business. They have a really nice team.”

Last Updated: 10/26/2016 8:53:41 PM EST