Wednesday's roundup: Adams ousts Fraser in D-1 soccer

Blake Meakin
Special to The Detroit News

Lake Orion — Rochester Adams is heading to the Division 1 boys soccer finals after defeating Fraser, 3-2, in a shootout.

A Dylan Brown save on the fourth Fraser penalty kick proved to be the difference.

"It's instinct," Brown said. "I feel like I know what I'm doing (during penalties)."

One player for each team hit the crossbar in the shootout, before Brown made a huge save on the fourth Fraser kick.

"(Brown's) just phenomenal," Adams coach Josh Hickey said. "It's funny because it just becomes something we expect."

Then Kevin Lencioni stepped up to take the winning kick.

"I got a lot of adrenaline going through me, I just knew I'm gonna make it," said Lencioni.

Fraser came into the game unbeaten and ranked fourth in the state, while Adams was unranked, simply taking it one game at a time.

Fraser was dressed in white No. 6 Austin Rassey T-shirts, in memory of their teammate who fractured vertebrae in the team's most recent game.

The game was a tale of two halves as Fraser controlled the tempo in the first half, while Adams had the upper hand in the second.

Nevertheless, Fraser (23-1-4) could muster only one goal in the first half, with Adams matching them at the break.

Just eight minutes in, Justin Gray of Fraser had the first scoring chance of the game, taking the ball off his knee and volleying it just over the Adams crossbar.

Four minutes later, on a similar play, he found the back of the net. He blasted an open shot into the upper right corner of the net. Brown didn't even move.

Late in the half, Matt Lentine had a close-range effort that was pushed aside by Brown.

Just one minute later, Adams (13-4-7) tied the game.

A botched goal kick from Fraser left Lencioni with possession in the Fraser box, and he beat the only defender before neatly tucking a shot under the goalkeeper.

"1 versus 1 opportunities is really what I like to do," Lencioni said. "It's just simple for me."

Adams went ahead early in the second half when Lennart Zorn headed in a corner kick. It then went into an ultra-defensive mode.

Fraser's go-to play seemed to be shooting the ball from distance with Adams not yielding any space inside the box.

However, Justin Gray's sweet spot was just outside the box, and he blistered a shot into the upper right corner of the net with 7:12 remaining for his second goal of the game, making it 2-2.

Lencioni's free kick wide provided the only excitement of the extra frames.

The match went to penalties, and one kicker for each team hit the crossbar in the opening three kicks, before a Fraser miss and Lencioni netting the final kick for Adams.

Fraser coach Thaier Mukhtar was in disbelief as his team's first loss all season knocked them out in the state semifinals.

"What do you say?" he said. "When it gets to penalty kicks, it's a coin toss. Soccer, unfortunately, is a game of mistakes, and the team that makes less mistakes is gonna move on."

Adams will play Canton at noon Saturday at Brighton High for the Division 1 title.

The teams played to a 1-1 draw in the regular season.

More soccer

Division 4

Birmingham Roeper 6, Harbor Beach 0: Max Whipple had four goals, Jake Flynn netted one, Trace Sheering had two assists and Calvin Lind made four saves for his 11th shutout of the season. Roeper (22-1) moves on to face Grand Rapids Covenant in the Division 4 final.

Soccer semifinals

Division 1

Canton 2, Saline 0

Rochester Adams 3, Fraser 2 (OT-SO)

Division 2

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 3, Dexter 2 (OT-SO)

East Lansing 3, Mason 2 (OT)

Division 3

Hudsonville Unity Christian 3, Grosse Ile 0

Williamston 3, Tawas Area 0

Division 4

Birmingham Roeper 6, Harbor Beach 0

Grand Rapids Covenant Christian 3, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian 0

Blake Meakin is a freelance writer; News staff contributed