Mattawan tops Divine Child in penalty kicks to win first state championshipSoccer  |
(Photo Courtesy: Michigan High School Athletic Association)
ROCHESTER HILLS — The lonely kicker.
Jarrett Hageman felt the singleness of his situation walking up to the penalty spot with the biggest opportunity during the final game of his high school career — all eyes on him and the what seemed like the weight of the world resting on his shoulders.
Hageman, a senior forward from Mattawan, lifted his head and nervously took his kick in a shootout on the grand stage at Rochester Stoney Creek High School.
His blast rang off the left goal post and into the goal to become the biggest goal of his prep career. That also resulted in 11th-ranked Mattawan winning its first-ever MHSAA Division 2 state championship in a 1-0 triumph over unranked Dearborn Divine Child.
“I was never so scared as I was walking up there to take the shot,” admitted Hageman. “I mean, I was so nervous.
“You dream about being (in this position), taking a (last) shot in a shootout,” continued Hageman. “I knew in my heart that I could make it, but I thought I’d missed because it hit the goal post. Thankfully, it went in and we finally won a state championship.”
Mattawan won the shootout 4-3, making its first, third, fourth and fifth shots to prevail. Daniel Simon, Dylan Burkett, Tate Rosenhagen and Hageman scored in the shootout for the Wildcats (22-4-2).
Divine Child converted its first three kicks only to see its final two attempts sail over the crossbar. Alex Higgins, Shane Ciucci and Justin Stack finished their penalties for the Falcons.
Mattawan’s history featured Final Four runs in 1989, 2011 and 2015 and several other state-ranked teams dating back to the late 1980s. Even the Wildcats’ 1990 squad entered the postseason ranked second in Class B only to fall short in regional play.
“We came close in (2015 and 2011), and although I was at a different school (Parchment) way back when, the school got to the semis before I got here,” noted coach Kirt Brown, who is 149-75-23 in 11 seasons at Mattawan. “We finally got it done this time.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” continued Brown. “This was somewhat of an ugly game. We scrapped and fought. You could see that both teams were tired in the second overtime. It’s wasn’t pretty. But I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.”
Last season’s squad reached the state semifinals before bowing out to Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (4-2). That was behind an offensive juggernut that tallied 102 goals as a team. This year’s unit won on stifling defense and an opportunistic offense that outscored the opposition 55-19.
During its postseason run, Matta