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Dan Stickradt’s 2022 MHSAA Boys Soccer State Finals Notebook

A deep glance at the eight schools competing in the 2022 MHSAA Boys Soccer State Finals and their respective postseason histories:


DIVISION 1


ROCKFORD

n Rockford had never been past the regional semifinals before this season

n Rockford last won district titles in D-1 in 2007 and 2000 and also won one district in the early 1990s.

n This is Rockford’s first-ever appearance in the Final Four and state finals.

n Rockford has won several Ottawa-Kent Conference Red Division titles over the years, including four in the past six years. The Rams, however, have had a difficult time escaping districts playing in the shadows of the likes East Kentwood, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central and Grand Haven and even behind Caledonia, Muskegon Mona Shores, Hudsonville and Grandville.

n The Rams defeated two ranked teams in the tournament, including No. 13 Grand Haven (2-0) in the regional semifinals and No. 2 Novi Detroit Catholic Central (3-0) in the state semifinals

n The Rams won district titles in 1993, 2000, 2007 and 2022

n Rockford won the OK Conference Red Division this year following a 6-0-1 regular season record and a 3-0 record in winning the OK Conference-Red Division Tournament title. There are eight schools in the OK Conference-Red Division.

n The Rams are 22-0-1 and the only unbeaten team remaining in the MHSAA state tournament

n The No. 3 ranking entering the postseason is the highest the Rams have ever been ranked in program history.

n The nine goals allowed over 23 games and the team 0.39 goals-against-average are the best in the state in Division 1 for that many games. Only Traverse City West (8) allowed fewer goals in D-1 but the Titans lost in the regional semifinals.

n Only one school has score more than one goal in a game against the Rams – a 3-2 non-conference win over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern back on Sept. 17. FHN eventually reached the Final Four in Division 2.

n The only blemish on Rockford’s schedule was a 0-0 league draw with state-ranked Grand Haven. The Rams avenged that tie with a 2-0 victory over the Buccaneers in the regional semifinals on Oct. 25.

n Rockford defeated East Kentwood twice this season, including a 2-0 victory over their longtime nemesis Falcons in the district finals on Oct. 20.

n Rockford has outscored the opposition 77-9 this season (66-8 in the regular season) with 14 shutouts in 23 games (school record). The Rams hold a 11-1 scoring edge in the postseason.


ROCHESTER ADAMS

n This is Rochester Adams’ fourth state finals appearance, including 1999, 2001, 2014 and 2022.

n The Highlanders won one state championship in 1999

n Adams finished as the state runner-up in 2001, losing to Detroit U-D Jesuit; and again in 2014, losing to Plymouth Canton 1-0

n Adams is in the D-1 Final Four for the seventh time in school history and seventh time since 1999. The Highlanders also lost in the semifinals in 2004 (1-0 to Okemos), 2009 (1-0 in overtime to Birmingham Brother Rice) and 2015 (3-2 in a shootout to Plymouth Canton

n Adams also reached the Division 1 regional finals in both 2006 and 2013

n Adams also lost in the D-1 regional semifinals in 2000, 2010 and 2019

n From 1981-1998, Adams was a state powerhouse program but could never get past the district finals until winning it all in 1999.

n District titles in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2022

n Adams was one of five ranked teams from the OAA Red Division ranked entering the tournament, including No. 1 Troy, No. 5 Troy Athens, No. 6 Clarkston and No. 7 Berkley

n Adams finished fifth out of eight teams in the OAA-Red Division with 10 points, going 2-1-4. The Highlanders’ only loss came in league play (2-1 to Troy on Aug. 30) and the OAA-Red was the state’s toughest conference this season.

n Adams was 6-10-3 last season, 3-6-3 in 2020 in a Covid-shortened season and 8-12-2 in 2019 in a year where the Highlanders still won a competitive D-1 district. Those are believed to be the only times in Adams’ 42-year history of varsity boys soccer that the Highlanders finished below five-hundred. The Highlanders did finish five-hundred back in 2008.

n Adams is 16-1-6 has outscored the opposition 64-17 this season with 13 shutouts in 23 games. The Highlanders outscored the opposition 47-10 in the regular season with 12 shouts and 17-7 in the postseason with one shutout.

n Adams defeated top-ranked Troy (4-3, 2OT, SO) in the regional semifinals and No. 9 Salem 2-0 in the state semifinals. The Highlanders are 3-1-3 against teams that were ranked in the top-15 in Division 1 this season and all of those opponents were ranked entering the postseason.


DIVISION 2


RICHLAND-GULL LAKE

n The Blue Devils are making their fourth appearance in the state finals, including 1988, 1993, 2020 and 2022

n Gull Lake captured state crowns in 2020 (1-0 over DeWitt in D-2 finals); 1993 (Class B co-championship following 1-1 draw with Birmingham Detroit Country Day) and 1988 (Class B co-championship following 3-3 draw with Madison Heights Bishop Foley

n Gull Lake is in the Division 2 Final Four for the third straight season.

n Gull Lake is in the Division 2 Final Four for the fourth time in the last five seasons. Back in 2019, the Blue Devils were ranked in the top 10 in the state but were upset by Coldwater (4-3) in the district semifinals.

n Final Four Appearances: 1983, 1988, 1993, 2018, 2020, 2021 and 2022

n The Blue Devils won the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference regular season crown

n Gull Lake is 21-3-0 overall with 14 shutouts. The Blue Devils have outscored the opposition 92-14 this season, including 11-0 with five shutouts in the postseason. The team finished fourth of 10 teams in the SWMAC Tournament following losses to Mattawan (4-3) and St. Joseph (3-1). Gull Lake had defeated those two teams in the regular season (5-2 over St. Joseph and 2-1 over Mattawan.

n Gull Lake is 21-3-0 this season.

n Gull Lake has a 0.58 team goals-against-average this season over 24 games.

n Gull Lake has outscored the opposition 92-14 this season with 14 shutouts (81-14 in the regular season with nine shutouts)

n Gull Lake has outscored five postseason opponents 11-0 this season with five clean sheets, including wins over Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg (3-0), Parma Western (1-0), Zeeland East (3-0), DeWitt (2-0) and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (2-0).

n The Blue Devils have defeated ranked teams in four straight postseason games, including previously-unbeaten Parma Western, Zeeland East, DeWitt and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern (in the semifinals). Middleville Thornapple-Kellogg was f ranked in the very first top-15 of the campaign and actually won a district crown last season.


BLOOMFIELD HILLS CRANBROOK

n The Cranes are seeking their first-ever MHSAA state championship in boys soccer.

n Cranbrook started its program in then 1960s and is believed to be the oldest varsity program in the state.

n The Cranes lost in the D-2 state finals back in 2014. The Cranes lost to East Lansing 4-3 in double-overtime in the finals that season.

n The Cranes were not ranked in the preseason but debuted in the second set of rankings and slowly climbed up to the No. 1 spot entering the postseason.

n Cranbrook is 15-1-3 this season, including 8-0-2 in the CHSL-AA Division to win the divisional crown. The Cranes lost in the CHSL Bishop Tournament finals in overtime to Division 1 second-ranked Novi Detroit Catholic Central (3-2).

n Being a boarding school, Cranbrook does not play very many games before Labor Day weekend because several of its players are not that on campus in August.

n Cranbrook has outscored the opposition 51-17 over 19 games with eight shutouts (35-15 with four shutouts in 13 regular season games). The Cranes have outscored six postseason foes 16-2 with four clean sheets.

n Since the MHSAA split into four even divisions back in 1997, the Cranes have reached the Division 2 Final Four seven times – all since 2009. The Cranes lost in the state semifinals in 2009 (2-1 to Petoskey), 2012 (3-1 to Petoskey), 2015 (1-0 to Mason), 2018 (2-1 in 2OT to Birmingham Detroit Country Day) and 2020 (3-1 to DeWitt).


DIVISION 3


HOLLAND CHRISTIAN

n The Maroons are making their third-ever appearances in the state finals, previously holding a 2-- record in state titles games.

n Holland Christian’s state title came in 2003 in Division 2, and that was a 3-0 shutout over Birmingham Seaholm; and a 4-2 victory over Mason in Class B-C finals way back in 1986.

n The 0.31 team goals-against-average in 23 games is the best in Division 3 and best overall in all four divisions.

n The Maroons have outscored the opposition 65-7 over 23 games this season with 17 shutouts (45-5 in the regular season with 14 clean sheets.

n Holland Christian has outscored five postseason foes 20-2 with three shutouts.

n Holland Christian finished second to Hudsonville Unity Christian at 4-0-3 (15 points) in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Blue Division regular season standings but came back to go 3-0 in the conference tournament with an 11-0 scoring edge in the league tourney and three shutouts to win the overall conference title.

n Over the years, the Maroons have competed in Class B-C, Class B, Division 2 or Division 3 but has often ran into a powerhouse program in the postseason despite annually being ranked in the state in most seasons. Holland Christian also competed in the Division 2 Final Four back in 2008 (lost 2-0 to Petoskey).

n The Maroons lost in the regional finals in 1995 (Class B), 2006 (Division 2), 2014 (Division 2 and 2019 (Division 3).

n The Maroons also won districts and lost in the regional semifinals in 1998 (D-2), 1999 (D-2), 2015 (D-2 and 2021 (D-3).


GROSSE ILE

n The Red Devils have emerged as a state powerhouse over the past 25 seasons sand their postseason performances have backed that up.

n Grosse Ile finished third out of eight schools in the Huron League, halting the team’s run at 12 straight league championships. Riverview (29 points), Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (19 points), Grosse Ile (18 points, Milan (17 points) and New Boston Huron (16 points) led a competitive top five in the standings. League champ Riverview reached the Division 2 Final Four this season.

n The program was ranked 14th entering the tournament, and a lot of that had to do with early-season injuries and a bench loaded with freshmen and sophomores.

n Grosse Ile is making its fifth straight appearance in the D-3 state finals.

n The Red Devils won state titles in 2002 (2-0 win over South Haven), 2019 (2-1 2OT, SO win over Grand Rapids South Christian) and 2020 (1-0 over Grand Rapids South Christian)

n Grosse Ile is making its sixth overall appearance in the state finals – all in Division 3.

n The Red Devils are 14-7-0 overall this season and only ranked 14th.

n Normally a high-powered offensive team in recent years, the Red Devils outscored its 21 opponents 54-24 this season with 10 shutouts. The team only held a 35-22 edge with five shutouts in the regular season.

n Grosse Ile has pitched three straight shutouts in the postseason, outscored six tournament opponents 19-2 and have registered five tournament clean sheets. The only team to score on Grosse Ile was Ida (a 4-2 win in the district finals).

n Since 1995, Grosse Ile has won districts 21 times in 27 seasons, including 14 straight. The last time Grosse Ile failed to advance out of a district was 2008.

n Grosse Ile has won a district crown in 17 of the last 18 seasons 19 times since 2002. The only times since 2002 that Grosse Ile did not win a district title was 2004 and 2008.

n District Titles: 1995, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

n Regional Titles / Final Four Runs – 1995, 2002, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

n Lost In Regional Finals – 1997, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017

n Lost In Regional Semifinals – 2003, 2006, 2009, 2013


DIVISION 4

MUSKEGON WESTERN MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN

n The Warriors’ league the last few year, the Lakes 8 Conference, disbanded last year leaving the school as an independent.

n MWMC is one of the most successful programs in Class D or Division 4 since the MHSAA adopted boys soccer back in 1982.

n The Warriors are 7-7 all-time in state title games. MWMC has won seven state titles and finished as the state runner-up seven other times. The school’s 15 state finals appearances, including this 2022 season, is one of most in state history.

n Western Michigan Christian recorded state titles in 1988 (Class C-D, 2-2 co-championship with Birmingham Detroit Country Day); 1995 (Class D, 3-1 over Birmingham Roeper); 2003 (Division 4, 4-1 over Westland Lutheran); 2004 (Division 4, 3-0 over Burt Lake Northern Michigan Christian); 2007 (Division 4, 2-1 over Auburn Hills Oakland Christian), 2010 (Division 4, 2-1 over Ann Arbor Greenhills); and 2019 (Division 4, 1-0 shootout winner over Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett).

n WMC finished as the state runner-up in 1982 (Class D, 2-1 loss to Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett); 1983 (Class D, 2-0 loss to Allen Park Inter-City Baptist); 1998 (Division 4, 2-0 loss to Elk Rapids); 1999 (Division 4, 4-2 loss to Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett); 2001 (Division 4, 2-1 loss to Southfield Christian); 2006 (Division 4, 3-1 loss to Allen Park Inter-City Baptist); and 2011 (Division 4, 1-0 double-overtime loss to Allen Park Inter-City Baptist).

n The Warriors have reached the Final Four 19 times since 1982.

n MWMC also lost in the Final Four in 1993 (Class C-D), 1994 (Class C-D), 1997 (Division 4) and 2014 (Division 4)

n Western Michigan Christian also lost in the regional finals in 2009 and 2018.

n Western Michigan Christian also lost in the regional semifinals in 2000 (D-4), 2002 (D-4), 2017 (D-4) and 2020 (D-4).

n The Warriors are riding an eight-game win streak entering the state finals.

n Playing schools from all four MHSAA divisions, the Warriors started 0-3-0 and just 2-5-0 back in August (outscored 13-9 in that stretch

n The Warriors have outscored the opposition 83-34 this season with seven shutouts, including 64-30 in the regular season with five clean sheets.

n The Warriors are 15-8-2 and finished 10-8-2 in the regular season before reeling off five straight wins in the postseason.

n The Warriors own a 19-4 scoring edge with two shutouts over five state tournament games.

n After falling to Leland 1-0 back on Aug. 27, the Warriors avenged that loss with a 3-1 win in the state semifinals.

n Western Michigan Christian has defeated four straight state ranked teams in the state tournament, including Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian (4-1, district finals);previously-unbeaten Marcellus Howardsville Christian (3-0, regional semifinals); Hartford (3-2, regional finals); and Leland (3-1, state semifinals)


ANN ARBOR GREENHILLS

n The Gryphons had a losing record in the regular season, becoming a rare team to reach the state finals after a sub five-hundred mark entering the postseason.

n Greenhills is 8-6-4 overall but finished 2-5-3 in the CHSL-AA Division which was fifth of six teams (nine points). The divisional champ, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook, is ranked No. 1 in Division 2 and is playing in the D-2 state finals.

n Greenhills has only outscored 18 opponents 29-21 this season with nine shutouts.

n The Gryphons were outscored 21-20 in the regular season over 13 games with four clean sheets.

n Greenhills has outscored the opposition 9-0 in five postseason games and pitched five shutouts in that span.

n The program is making its sixth appearance in the state finals, fifth in Division 4 and once in Class C-D.

n Greenhills is 1-4 all-time in state title games entering Saturday.

n The Gryphons sole state championship in the MHSAA Tournament was in 2017, a 1-0 victory over Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep.

n Greenhills lost in the state finals four times – 1992 (Class C-D, 2-0 loss to Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep); 2009 (Division 4, 4-3 double-overtime loss to Hudsonville Freedom Baptist); 2010 (Division 4, a 2-1 loss to Muskegon Western Michigan Christian); and 2018 (Division 4, a 1-0 defeat to Leland)

n The eight wins is the lowest-ever win total for a team making an appearance in a state final.

n The Gryphons also lost in the Final Four in 1987 (Class C-D). 1989 (Class C-D), 2008 (Division 4), and 2016 (Division 4)

n Greenhills also lost in the regional finals in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2006.

n Greenhills also lost in the regional semifinals in 2004, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2021.

n The Gryphons have won 20 districts dating back to 1987, a 35-year stretch.

n Since the MHSAA switched to four divisions in 1997, Greenhills has won districts in 17 of 26 seasons.

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