False MI Prep Zone: SOCCER: Lutheran North gets ready for Grosse Ile TOUT VIDEO
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SOCCER: Lutheran North gets ready for Grosse Ile TOUT VIDEO

Teams will play in regionals Wednesday

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Since we’re sidling up to the Halloween season, it’s fortunate there has been a total costume change for the soccer players from Lutheran North.

An ugly rumor has it that for Halloween of 2012, some of the Mustangs wore their soccer jerseys as costumes.

Who can blame them? A very young Lutheran North team had endured a frightening season during which they won just a small handful of games and lost many, many more. There were also a few ties.

There weren’t many quality treats handed out at the end of the 2012 season.

But let’s segue to the fall of 2013. Things are decidedly different for coach Brian Horvath’s Mustangs. Tricking opponents more often than not. Treating themselves to win after win. Scaring the bejabbers out of plenty of opposing goalies.

The Mustangs’ most recent victory – an improbable short-handed 4-3 triumph over Imlay City – earned them a Division 3 district championship.

Lutheran North (10-6-4) will play Grosse Ile at 5 p.m., Wednesday, in a regional semifinal game at Farmington High School.

In the second game Wednesday, it will be Clawson against Jackson Lumen Christi. The regional championship will be decided Friday at 5 p.m.

The game at Imlay City had all the makings of a scary pre-Halloween finale for the Mustangs, who found themselves playing two men short by the time the game ended.

“The Mustangs prevailed,” said Horvath, “even though we lost two players to red cards. We were still able to win.”

It was Brett Wagner who made good on a penalty kick with just 1:27 left in regulation to send the game first into a pair of mandatory 10-minute overtime sessions and later into the shootout.

Evan Benner and Noah Lesnau also scored in regulation while goalie Garrett Monroe made 16 saves. Fernando Teruel had a pair of assists.

These Mustangs are tournament-tested even before the MHSAA dictates it is time for the post-season to begin. Competing in the treacherous Catholic League AA Division gets them ready for pretty much anything they’ll face in the state tournament. This is Lutheran North’s fourth year in the Catholic League, and its third in the AA Division. Other AA schools are Cranbrook, Notre Dame Prep, Divine Child, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

The Mustangs finished fourth in the division with a 3-3-4 record. Cranbrook came in first at 8-0-2.

In addition to a rigorous league schedule, Lutheran North has also played non-league opponents like Dakota, L’Anse Creuse North and Lake Shore.

“We know Grosse Ile is a strong, physical team that likes to attack,” said Horvath. “The Mustangs like to work hard and work together as a unit. We are looking to control the ball, move up the pitch, and put some balls in the back of the net and move on into the regional final.”

Grosse Ile defeated Allen Park Cabrini 2-1 to earn a second consecutive district championship.

Grosse Ile scored both of its goals in the first half.

After the game, Grosse Ile coach Mike DeSana said that his Red Devils are playing their best soccer of the season.

“Every game’s tough from here on in,” DeSana said. “Everybody’s going to give us a great game. If we just keep playing the way we are, we should be successful. We’re playing really good soccer at the right time.”

The feeling is mutual on 24 Mile Road just west of Romeo Plank. Which team will leave the field at Farmington High with a treat Tuesday night? Or should that be witch?

Last Updated: 10/22/2013 8:20:47 PM EST