BY DAN STICKRADT
WEB AND CONTENT EDITOR
GRAND RAPIDS – Making an appearance in the regional semifinals for the second straight year, Rockford figures it will hang out a little longer.
The ninth-ranked Rams rallied back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to down fourth-ranked Traverse City West 2-1 in overtime Tuesday in a Division 1 regional semifinal at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern.
Sophomore Adam Flanders tied it in the 75th minute. Senior Brain Goushaw’s left-footed high blast found the upper 90 on the left side with around eight minutes to play in the second overtime session to provide the game-winning goal for the Rams (16-3-2).
Rockford, last season’s state runner-up, picked up eight saves from senior Sam Himmelspach.
The Rams are now on a 14-game win streak (13-0-1) since last losing back on Aug. 28 to East Kentwood (3-2). Rockford has outscored the last 14 opponents 50-5.
The Rams will face sixth-ranked Portage Central, a 4-1 winner Tuesday over Grand Haven, in the regional finals Thursday at Forest Hills Northern.
Junior Kallen Ray volleyed home a cornerkick from junior Brody Plumstead in the 30th minute to stake the Titans to a 1-0 advantage.
Junior Camden Tkach finished with six saves for Traverse City West (18-2-1), which had won 14 straight Big North Conference titles and five straight district crowns. This is the third year in a row the Titans have been ousted in the regional semifinals after reaching the Final Four in both 2019 and 2020.
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TROY ATHENS 2, ROCHESTER ADAMS 1: Troy Athens made the most of its late scoring chances Tuesday at Troy and the third-ranked Red Hawks survived and advance in the Division 1 state tournament.
Adriano Shauya converted his second penalty kick attempt after his first attempt was blocked by Adams goalie Reid Dennis, who was ruled to have moved on his line before the first shot was attempted.
Brody Fanhestock scored with 3:40 remaining in regulation.
Jackson Craft scored for Adams (13-8-1) with 18:21 to go in the first half and the Highlanders defense held strong until late in the second half.
PORTAGE CENTRAL 4, GRAND HAVEN 1: The Mustangs’ quest for a first state title in boys soccer continued Tuesday at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern with this come-from-behind victory.
The fifth-ranked Mustangs (17-1-2) scored four unanswered goals after trailing 1-0 early in the contest to sink the Buccaneers in this Division 1 regional semifinal.
Aiden Phencie scored twice, including the eventual game-winner with 32 seconds left in the first half. Marshal Nuemann and Brycen Handley scored insurance tallies in the second half as Portage Central advanced to the regional finals for the second straight time.
The Mustangs will face ninth-ranked Rockford at 6 p.m. Thursday also at Forest Hills Northern. The Rams also ousted Portage Central in the regional finals last season.
Acen Dean scored for Grand Haven.
UTICA FORD II 3, WARREN COUSINO 2: Nathan Berry scored the eventual game-inner in the 49th minute and made a huge defensive play in the waning seconds to help the unranked Falcons advance with this narrow victory in a Division 1 regional semifinal at Troy High School
Drew Graves scored a breakaway and Mazen Gaballa scored in the first half for the Falcons (13-7-2), who played down a man for most of the second half after a red card was issued to a Ford player.
Justin Lifshay and Vojin Rajic scored during a furious second-half rally for Cousino, but the Patriots (14-6-2) could not net the equalizer.
Ford will face third-ranked Troy Athens (17-3-2) in the regional finals Thursday at Troy at 6 p.m.
DEARBORN DIVINE CHILD 7, DEXTER 1: Making its ninth appearance in the regional semifinals in 10 years, the Falcons overcame a slow start and pulled away with this victory Tuesday on their home turf.
Career scoring leader Salvatore Thomson scored two goals with an assist to pace the Falcons (12-7-1), who will face 12th-ranked Mason Thursday for the regional championship also in Dearborn.
Ali Kheirbek and Evan Scurri also recorded a goal and an assist for the Falcons.
Dexter, which plays seven sophomores and two freshmen regularly in its rotation, came out with a flurry of restarts, cornerkicks and shots in the first 20 minutes, but couldn’t sustain it against Divine Child.
JP Assenmacher scored for Dexter (12-8-1).
FREMONT 3, KINGSFORD 2: For the first time this season Fremont rallied back from a two-goal deficit and it paid dividends in a 3-2 victory over 11th-ranked Kingsford in a regional semifinals at Big Rapids High School.
The result helped the Packers to their first ever regional game win and into unchartered territory. Fremont will face ninth-ranked Alma in the regional finals Thursday at Gaylord.
The victory was also the Packers’ first win over a state-ranked team this season.
Freshman Jett Buckley and junior Jaxon Buckley scored only 20 seconds apart in the first half to pace Kingsford (21-2-1), who captured its first district title in program history.
Senior German-exchange student Silas Rinne scored the first Fremont goal in the 33rd minute. Senior Chaz Miller, the team’s scoring leader after missing most of last season with an injury, notched his 27th goal of the campaign with 7:33 remaining after knocking home a rebound following a curling cornerkick from sophomore Deagan Klimek.
Rinne’s 50-yard free kick into the penalty box was flicked into the goal by Miller, who leaped high in a crowded box to send it home with only 44 seconds remaining.
Sophomore Caleb Vissia made seven saves in the contest, which had a long delay which caused the game to conclude past 11 p.m.
Landon Adam recorded 13 saves for Kingsford.
ALMA 2, GRAND RAPIDS CATHOLIC CENTRAL 0: The Panthers captured their 16th straight win and advanced to the regional finals for the second straight year and third time overall in school history.
Senior Leo Richter, who owns several school records and is the all-time leading scorer in school history, scored the game winner just 34 seconds into the contest. Sophomore Jack Lamerand added an insurance tally with 26:15 remaining in the first half.
Junior Noah Vega notched the shutout between the pipes for the Panthers, who have now registered 12 clean sheets and outscored the opposition 107-20 this season after starting the campaign just 3-4-0.