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SOCCER: Fraser falls to Bloomfield Hills

Ramblers suffer first loss

Fraser's Matt Lang (10) battles Bloomfield Hills' Ben Kileen (9) during a regional semifinal match Tuesday. (The Macomb Daily photos/RAY J. SKOWRONEK)

Fraser's Zach Tosoian (23) and Bloomfield Hills' Ethan Garcia (13) compete for the ball.

GROSSE POINTE WOODS – For 23 consecutive games, unbeaten Fraser had its way this season. Until the Ramblers ran into Bloomfield Hills in the regional semifinal match at Grosse Pointe North Tuesday night.

The Black Hawks (14-2-5) got one goal from senior Ethan Garcia with 18:36 to play in the second half and senior keeper Griffin Hamel made eight saves to preserve the 1-0 victory that sends Bloomfield Hills against Utica for the regional championship back here on Friday at 5 p.m.

“That was a fantastic effort. The boys had to be at their very best. We had three very tough games in the districts and we knew it doesn’t get any easier,” said Black Hawks coach Dougie MacAulay. “Fraser is a very good team. They were unbeaten all season so they’re finding this one hard to take. But their guys can hold their heads high too because they had a great season.”

Bloomfield Hills is a combined team made up of players from the former Lahser and Andover High Schools. Fraser (18-1-5) outshot the Black Hawks, 21-11, but Bloomfield Hills pinned the first setback on the Ramblers and face a Utica team that stunned previously unbeaten and No.1 ranked Troy Athens in districts.

“I knew that I could turn on that shot. I didn’t know where the goal was, But, I hit it as hard as I could and all of a sudden I looked up and it was going over the goalie. It took about 10 seconds before I believed it actually happened,” Garcia said of his unassisted 25 yard blast. “I was just going for broke on that one. I still can’t believe it went in. I’ve never hit a shot like that. To do it at this time of the season, it’s really something special.”

MacAulay was feeling pretty happy about Garcia’s winning tally as well.

“I wouldn’t have put any money on Ethan,” said MacAulay with a big smile. “He has scored four or five goals. To hit that with his left foot as a senior, he’s going to remember that goal all his life. It was very special. I just wish we could have more of them.”

Fraser had some quality chances in the opening half but missed the target on most opportunities. The Ramblers senior sniper Matt Lang, who fell one goal short of tying Fraser’s single season mark of 28 goals, came within inches of tying the game in the waning seconds.

The Black Hawks’ Kyle Petrovich had a chance to push the score to 2-0 late but his wide open eight-yard shot from an angle caromed slowly off the goal post with 3:27 to play. As the clock ticked off the seconds Lang got loose at the other end and uncorked a blistering shot that clanked off the crossbar with just 35 seconds remaining. Fraser’s hopes of forcing overtime bounded off the framework and out of danger.

“Griffin said he got his fingers on it. He had to be on his toes tonight and he was up for every ball,” MacAulay said. “Lang is a very, very special player. We knew that we couldn’t give him an inch. If he got an inch on his left foot we knew we were I trouble. I thought Jahza Klochko-Khoo did a great job on him. He stopped him quite a few times.”

Fraser ended a wonderful run that included keeper Alec Sharpe re-setting the single season record for shutouts with 15. Sharpe made five saves in the game, but the one goal that eluded him ended his otherwise stellar campaign.

“I thought it was a matter of luck. He just turns around and hits the upper corner,” said Fraser coach Thaier Mukhtar of the game's only goal. “We had some golden chances around their net but we couldn’t get one in. Give credit to their goalie. He was outstanding. He seemed to be at the right angle every time and he took away every kind of opportunity we had to score.”

The Ramblers won the MAC White title this year as part of their incredible run that ended one goal short.

“I’m very proud of Fraser soccer. I’m very proud of these boys. They’ll be back. It’s just said for the five seniors right now. I feel bad. I thought we could win and get two Macomb County schools in the final eight,” Mukhtar said.

Fraser’s five seniors are Matt Lang, Nathan East, David Driest, Kevin Gault, and Zach Tosoian.

Last Updated: 10/22/2013 11:05:00 PM EST

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