Haslett goalie Kevin Coscarelli (0) blocks a rebound shot on goal by Christopher Pridnia (9) of East Lansing midway through the first half of their Division 2 district semifinal.
ST. JOHNS – DeWitt advanced to a Division 2 boys soccer district final against defending state champion East Lansing with a controversial 1-0 win over St. Johns Wednesday.
The result was less a moral victory than an immoral defeat for the Redwings, who were the much better team for the bulk of the contest. But they lost due to a controversial penalty kick early in the second half.
“I was extremely proud of the way we played, the energy,” St. Johns coach Karl Hanover said. “We’ve never controlled the ball like this against DeWitt. I thought we were the better team on the field – just not on the scoreboard.”
DeWitt keeper Isiah Handspike stepped up and converted the spot-kick 2:55 after the break, after St. Johns senior Alex Shileika appeared to have cleared a looping shot off his own goal line, but was judged to have handled the ball and sent off.
The innocuous-looking play was allowed to continue by the center referee, but the penalty was given after the assistant referee flagged him down and apparently advised him that a handball had occurred.
“It hit my gut,” Shileika said. “My hands were part of my body, so there should have been no reason to call the foul. When your hands are down at your side, it’s not a handball at all.
“I was just shocked. It was the worst feeling in the world. I feel like I lost the game for our team.”
While Handspike scored the winning goal, his play in the DeWitt net kept his team in the contest, with several key saves.
The best chances of the game by St. Johns came with 13:50 left in the first half when Oliver Coco’s header of a corner kick by Thad Shileika forced Handspike to dive at full extension to turn the ball around the post.
Even after the Redwings went a man down, they continued to attack. They played DeWitt essentially even for the bulk of the second half, but could not find what would have been a just equalizer.
Panthers coach Jamal Mubarakeh said that his team was flat from the start.
“In the first five or 10 minutes, I thought we were in trouble,” Mubarakeh said. “Today, we had a lack of communication, and too many turnovers. I hope the guys can wake up, have two good practices and be ready for Saturday’s game.”
DEWITT 1, ST. JOHNS 0
Goal–Isiah Handspike. In goal–Jacob Warnaar (SJ) 4 saves, Isiah Handspike (D) 3 saves. Records–St. Johns 10-11-1, DeWitt 14-5-2
BOYS SOCCER: AREA DISTRICTS
DIVISION 1 at Jackson
Tue.–Okemos 3, Battle Creek Lakeview 0
Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 2, Everett 1
Jackson 3, Holt 2
Portage Central 1, Portage Northern 0
Thu.–Jackson vs. Portage Central, 5 p.m.
Okemos vs. Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, 6:30 p.m.
Sat.–final, 11 a.m.
DIVISION 2 at Mason
Tue.–Charlotte 2, Parma Western 1 (2OT)
Marshall 2, Eaton Rapids 1
Coldwater 3, Jackson Northwest 0
Thu.–Charlotte vs. Marshall, 5 p.m.
Coldwater at Mason, 7 p.m.
Sat.–final, 6 p.m.
DIVISION 2 at St. Johns
Mon.–St. Johns 8, Waverly 0
DeWitt 8, Ionia 0
East Lansing 4, Lowell 0
Haslett 3, Lansing Eastern 0
Wed.–DeWitt 1, St. Johns 0
East Lansing 4, Haslett 2 (OT)
Sat.–DeWitt vs. East Lansing, 4 p.m.
DIVISION 2 at Linden
Mon.–Fenton 3, Fowlerville 0
Linden 8, Clio 0
Flint Southwestern 5, Flint Northwestern 0
Wed.–Fenton 2, Owosso 1
Linden 11, Flint Southwestern 0
Sat.–Fenton at Linden, 11 a.m.
DIVISION 3 at Lansing Catholic
Mon.–Lansing Catholic 8, Maple Valley 0
Belding 4, Sexton 1
Leslie 3, Portland 1
Olivet 0, Lakewood 0 (Olivet won 4-3 on penalty kicks)
Wed.–Leslie 5, Olivet 2
Thu.–Belding at Lansing Catholic, 4 p.m.
Sat.–Leslie vs. Belding or Lansing Catholic, 1
DIVISION 3 at Onsted
Mon.–Jackson Lumen Christi 8, Brooklyn Columbia Central 0
Hillsdale 8, Hanover-Horton 4
Quincy 6, Stockbridge 0
Onsted 2, Jonesville 1
Wed.–Jackson Lumen Christi 2, Hillsdale 0
Thu.–Quincy at Onsted, 4 p.m.
Sat.–Jackson Lumen Christi vs. Quincy or Onsted, 1 p.m.
DIVISION 3 at Alma
Mon.–Ithaca 5, Midland Bullock Creek 0
Saginaw Swan Valley 3, Ovid-Elsie 0
Alma 8, Hemlock 0
Freeland 5, Chesaning 0
Wed.–Alma 2, Freeland 0
Saginaw Swan Valley 3, Ithaca 1
Sat.–Saginaw Swan Valley at Alma, 3 p.m.
DIVISION 3 at Linden Lake Fenton
Mon.–Williamston 8, Perry 0
Flint Powers Catholic 6, Lake Fenton 1
Corunna 3, Durand 2 (OT)
Montrose 5, Mount Morris 3
Wed.–Corunna 1, Montrose 0
Williamston 3, Flint Powers Catholic 1
Sat.–Corunna vs. Williamston, 4:30 p.m.
DIVISION 4 at Burton Genesee Christian
Mon.–Burton St. Thomas More 8, Dansville 0
Laingsburg 3, New Covenant Christian 1
Wed.–Burton Genesee Christian 2, Burton St. Thomas More 1
Lansing Christian 8, Laingsburg 0
Fri.–Lansing Christian at Burton Genesee Christian, 4:30 p.m.