Tuesday's roundup: Novi edges Stevenson on penalties

Geoff Robinson
Special to The Detroit News

In what is always one of the toughest and most entertaining boys soccer districts in Michigan, Novi knocked off third-ranked Livonia Stevenson, 2-1, in the first round of a district playoff match that went deep into penalty kicks.

Ian Hanley hit the winner to lead Novi (13-3-3) to an 8-7 victory in penalties.

"Shootouts are just one of those things, and we were fortunate to come out on the good side of it," Novi coach Brian O'Leary said.

Stevenson (13-3-3) was the regular season champion of the Kensington Lakes Activities Association, but Novi was ready for the challenge, having beaten its rival in one regular season meeting, while playing to a tie in another.

"I've gotten used to (the competition) over the years because our district has always been difficult," O'Leary said. "We've got four of the top 15 teams in the state in our district. The soccer's so good around here, so we'll play whoever we draw and just go with it."

Hunter Mullett notched the first goal nine minutes into the second half for Stevenson, but Ryan Kobakof struck for Novi with 19 minutes remaining to even the score as the teams traded punches late.

Novi will take on Detroit Catholic Central in a district semifinal on Thursday.