With his team holding a 3-0 lead in last week’s Division 2 regional semifinal game against Trenton, Holden Dippel trotted into the enemy’s penalty box with hopes of further embellishing the one-sided contest.
The Mason defenseman gazed through the air as his teammate launched a corner kick in his direction. Dippel pushed forward, anticipating nobody would touch the ball. In the end, a deflection forced the senior to overrun the cross, but he was able to extend his leg back and get enough contact to put the ball in the back of the net.
The awkward finish was voted this week’s LSJ prep video of the week.
“Usually on corners, I’m up trying to score — that’s the main goal,” said Dippel, whose team went on to win the game 5-0. “It took a weird deflection and I reached back and was able to get the bottom of my foot on it.”
Soon after the senior’s acrobatic goal, the No. 8-ranked Bulldogs went on to capture the regional championship. Mason (23-3) eventually went on to book its first trip to the state championship since 1997 with a 1-0 victory over No. 4 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the early season, but ended up stumbling around the CAAC Gold Cup and dropped in the polls. Dippel believes the Mason team that will be present for Saturday’s state title game against Grand Rapids Forest Hills is much different than a few weeks ago.
“We’re playing our best soccer right now. We weren’t playing it in the Gold Cup, but we are now,” he said. “I think we definitely scheduled ourselves a hard schedule, so we were going to have losses throughout the season. I think that was good for us.”
Contact James L. Edwards III at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.
DIVISION 2 STATE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Who: Mason vs. Grand Rapids Forest Hills
What: Division 2 state soccer championship
When: Saturday at 3 p.m.
Where: Comstock Park High School