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Dexter nets shutout; returns to final four

By: Joe Buczek, October 23, 2014, 10:18 pm

FARMINGTON HILLS – The Dexter boys soccer team is back among the best programs in the state.

After a two-year absence from the state semifinals, No. 9-ranked Dexter booked its ticket back to the final four with a 2-0 win over Dearborn Divine Child in a Division 2 regional final at Farmington Hills Harrison on Thursday. 

“We saw Divine Child play in the second half against Trenton on Tuesday, so we knew that we were going to have a quality opponent today that is very technical and has a nice style of play,” Dexter coach Scott Forrester said. “We talked before the game about we needed to do to take away their chances and I think our team plan worked today.”

With the win, Dexter (20-3-2) will now face No. 10-ranked Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood in a semifinal at Auburn Hills Avondale on Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. Cranbrook posted a 3-1 win over Linden on Tuesday. ?

The regional championship win Thursday was the first for the Dreadnaughts in two years. Dexter’s last appearance in the state semifinals was in 2012, when it dropped a 1-0 game to eventual Division 2 state champion Hudsonville Unity Christian. That loss, coupled with last year’s absence from the state finals, has been on the mind of Dexter’s returning players.

“We felt like we should have been back in the finals last year, but we had a few things that didn’t go our way,” Forrester said. “I know that last year was definitely in the minds of our returning players coming into this season, so when it came to tournament time, they definitely reflected on that. Basically our theme is that this is our time of the year and we want to collect hardware. These guys want to try and add on to that tradition that the players before them had already formulated.”

Dexter senior Andrew Foghel broke a scoreless tie in the 32nd minute Thursday to lift the Dreadnaughts to a 1-0 lead at halftime.

Divine Child, which was playing in its first regional final since 2010, when it lost to Lapeer East, was playing on its heels for much of the opening half but began showing signs of an offensive spark in the final 10 minutes of first half.

“We had opportunities tonight and we felt like things were going well and that we had chances,” Divine Child Eric Haley said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t take advantage of those good opportunities, and when playing against a good team like Dexter, you’ve got to take advantage when you can.”

The Falcons (12-8-1) also had their chances in the second half, including a pair of shots by Anthony Tucker that ricocheted off the crossbar.

“We decided to change the game plan at halftime to give a little more of an offensive attack and to support each other more,” Haley said. “We had our chances, but we unfortunately could not put it in.”

Junior Chris Gaskin capped of the scoring and gave Dexter a little more breathing room when he drilled in a goal off of a corner kick in the 62nd minute for the game’s second goal.