Haslett soccer tops Lansing Catholic in Gold Cup opener

Haslett soccer tops Lansing Catholic in Gold Cup opener

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Haslett soccer tops Lansing Catholic in Gold Cup opener

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HASLETT – There’s been plenty for Shin Nishimura to adjust to this fall as an exchange student at Haslett High School from Japan.

That’s included a few things on the soccer field.

Haslett players, from left, Brian Coscarelli, Hunter Nash (16), Munir Sherali, Paul Fiorillo and Clay Chernich, right, celebrate Sherali's game-winning goal against Lansing Catholic as Lansing Catholic's Chuck Plaehn (2) reacts Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Haslett, Mich. Haslett won 2-1.

Haslett players, from left, Brian Coscarelli, Hunter Nash (16), Munir Sherali, Paul Fiorillo and Clay Chernich, right, celebrate Sherali’s game-winning goal against Lansing Catholic as Lansing Catholic’s Chuck Plaehn (2) reacts Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Haslett, Mich. Haslett won 2-1.

But the junior has managed to fit in fine and play a role in what has been another successful season for the Viking boys soccer program.

And that continued Tuesday when he scored a goal to help No. 2 seed Haslett open the CAAC Gold Cup with a 2-1 victory over No. 7 seed Lansing Catholic.

“It’s been really nice (to have him),” Haslett senior Brian Coscarelli said. “We would not be where we are without him.”

Nishimura has been one of the Vikings top goal scorers this fall and helped the program capture its third league title in four seasons. And Haslett coach Darus Ward said Nishimura has displayed an approach that has played a part in the Vikings’ success.

“Just the way he plays is high energy and a never give up mentality on both sides of the ball,” Ward said. “With these guys, that’s the kind of culture we’ve been building. All the guys come in every day and work. It’s not about starters and bench players. It’s about you come and you work today, and tomorrow you play. That’s the approach we’ve had for four years and the senior class has really adapted that mentality.”

Haslett's Munir Sherali, left, and Clay Chernich, right, and Lansing Catholic's Remy Collard battle for a header Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Haslett, Mich. Haslett won 2-1.

Haslett’s Munir Sherali, left, and Clay Chernich, right, and Lansing Catholic’s Remy Collard battle for a header Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Haslett, Mich. Haslett won 2-1.

Haslett trailed 1-0 at the half before Nishimura scored the tying goal just over five minutes into the second half. Munir Sherali added the go-ahead goal just over two minutes later to help the Vikings advance to face No. 3 seed Okemos in a Gold Cup semifinal Thursday.

Jack Gonzalez scored for Lansing Catholic (9-2).

Cougar coach Gus Flores was pleased with the Cougars’ execution in the opening half, but thought the second half was a little uncharacteristic.

“We were up one and we just kind of fell apart,” Flores said. “We can’t do that if we want to make a long stretch run in the postseason. We tried to find some experience for the younger guys, and we did that. If we can play the way we know how we can play, we’ll be tough to beat for anybody.”

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

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Haslett soccer tops Lansing Catholic in Gold Cup opener
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