Dowagiac blanked by South Haven in district finalsPublished 9:05am Monday, October 26, 2009
By SCOTT NOVAK
Dowagiac Daily News
BERRIEN SPRINGS – A couple of defensive breakdowns in the opening half cost Dowagiac a pair of goals and helped lead South Haven to a Division 3 District Soccer Tournament championship on Saturday afternoon at Berrien Springs High School.
Windy, cold and wet conditions hindered the play early on as both teams struggled to mount much offense.
Dowagiac had the better of it for the first 10 minutes or so, but could not come up with a goal against South Haven keeper Mitch Baker, who stopped three shots in the first half and five for the match.
“We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities we had in the beginning,” Dowagiac coach Mike Williams said. “It could have went either way at the beginning and the momentum would have shifted if we could have gotten something in when we were doing well up top.
“We were marked up player to player very well and the things we said not to do we did a couple of times and they took advantage of it,” he added.
The Rams finally were able to get one past Chieftain keeper Jason Turner, who spent much of the match being banged around by the South Haven offense.
Randy Bautista found Kyle Fitton in front of the Dowagiac goal for the first score of the afternoon in the 27th minute.
The lead reached 2-0 in the 33rd minute on a penalty kick. Brandon Holtzman beat an injured an hobbled Turner for the score.
Dowagiac was able to pick up the pace in the second half, but was unable to get one past Baker.
South Haven continued to apply the pressure and the Chieftains were able to keep the ball out of their net until the 61st minute when Tim Covey scored with an assist from Eric Maynez.
South Haven outshot Dowagiac 26-15.
Turner had 12 saves for the Chieftains, who finish the season with an 11-9 record.
South Haven (16-8-1) will take on No. 1 ranked Grand Rapids South Christian on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the regional semifinal at Otsego.
Berrien Springs 2, Dowagiac 0
SH – Kyle Fitton 27th minute (Randy Bautista assist)
SH – Branden Holtzman 33rd minute (penalty kick)
SH – Tim Covey 61st minute (Eric Maynez assist)
Shots on goal
South Haven 26
South Haven 6 (Mitch Baker 5, Christian Davis 1)
Dowagiac 12 (Jason Turner)
South Haven 16-8-1, Dowagiac 11-9