Western High School soccer players Michael Herrington (14) and Ian Maynard (5) attempt to block a shot by South Lyon East player Leo Ifuku during a district match at home on Tuesday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
An additional 10 minutes of halftime did not hurt the Western High School varsity soccer team during the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 soccer district match.
Maybe a few light bulbs went off during the 20 minutes of non-action.
Western scored three goals in the last 40 minutes of action to earn a 3-2 win over South Lyon East in the district semifinal at home on Tuesday.
Western (11-1-1) will face Chelsea in the district final on Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. at CHS. The Panthers are attempting to earn back-to-back district titles.
It appeared as if the season was over for the Panthers following the first 40 minutes of action. South Lyon scored two goals in a six-minute period to take a 2-0 halftime lead.
School officials took a few extra minutes to get two banks of lights back on. The lights were on and off during the second half – but enough to light the field adequately.
The Panthers used the time to get themselves back into the district match.
“I let the guys sit there and talk amongst themselves without the coaches,” WHS Coach Scott Watterson said. “It gave them a chance to figure out what was going on.”
It didn’t take long to see that plan come to fruition. Marshal Eva scored on a nice feed from Ethan Zuke five minutes into the second half to cut the lead.
Thirteen minutes later, senior Isaac Ortega scored a goal to tie the game.
“It was a big moment in the game,” Ortega said. “I just tried to remain composed and confident on the shot.
“We knew after the first goal (by Eva) that the momentum had changed.”
Trey Cottingham scored the game winner at the 9:15 mark as he outhustled a number of defenders to the soccer ball.
After being outshot 8-6 in the first half, Western outshot SEL 10-2.
Western goalie Corban Hall made eight saves in the contest, earning the win.
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