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BOYS SOCCER: Roeper clips Liggett, stays on the road to a repeat WITH VIDEO

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BIRMINGHAM – Promptly picking themselves up and dusting themselves off from a bitter loss earlier in the week, the Birmingham Roeper Roughriders are back in the hunt.

Recording a 1-0 win over Michigan Independent Athletic Conference foe Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett at home on Thursday, the Roughriders control their own destiny in the race for a repeat league boys soccer crown heading into the final week of the regular season.

“All you can ask for coming down the stretch is to have your fate in your own hands and that’s the situation we’re fortunate to find ourselves in right now,” Roeper head coach Ed Sack said. “Our focus is squarely on getting that repeat title.”

Last fall, Sack navigated the Roughriders to their first MIAC championship in 14 years. If Roeper wins its final two games of the season next week, it will wrap-up at least a share of another title, alongside defending Division 4 state champion, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist, allowing Sack and his ball club to raise their second league banner in a row.

Back on Tuesday, the Roughriders, ranked No. 4 in the state, fell to Inter-City, ranked No. 3, by the score of 3-1.

Roeper can still win an outright MIAC crown if the Roughriders win their last two games and Inter-City loses its last two games.

On Thursday, Roeper used some early offense and stout defense to grab the victory.

Senior forward Spencer Solys scored the match’s lone goal just seven minutes into play, providing the Roughriders all the offensive firepower they would need to come out on top.

Max Whipple assisted on Solys’ goal. Whipple scored Roeper’s only goal of the game on Tuesday in the team’s defeat.

One of the area’s most lethal offensive weapons, Solys continued his rapid scoring pace on Thursday, registering his 22nd goal of the year. As a junior last season, he scored 30 goals, tying the program’s single-season record.

Highlighting the Roughriders defensive effort, freshman goalie Calvin Lind came away with eight saves in net to garner the shutout.

Lind headlines a stellar crop of underclassmen that dot Roeper’s line-up. Sack starts eight freshmen or sophomores.

“The learning curve has been sharp, but these kids have responded extremely well,” Sack said. “The way the younger guys have been playing is the reason we’re having this kind of success.”

Next up on the schedule for the Roughriders is a match Tuesday against league-rival Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, the state’s No. 6 ranked team, on the road.

The MIAC is the best small-school boys soccer league in all of Michigan, currently fielding four teams in the state’s Top 10. A team representing the MIAC has appeared in the Division 4 state finals the past seven consecutive years and in a remarkable 12 of the last 13 campaigns.

Last Updated: 10/8/2012 2:50:05 AM EST

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