Dowagiac’s Ricardo Esparza tries to keep the ball away from the goal in the Division 3 District Tournament match against Fennville Monday. The Chieftains were eliminated from the state tournament by the Blackhawks 3-1. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Archived Story

Dowagiac eliminated by Fennville

Published 9:33pm Monday, October 15, 2012

Dowagiac’s soccer season came to an abrupt and disappointing end as the Chieftains’ mistake-laden second half doomed their efforts against visiting Fennville in a 3-1 loss in the opening round of the Division 3 District tournament Monday.

Dowagiac opened up the contest with an amazing goal by senior Joe Pasternak, who scored on a free-kick from just past the midfield line in the ninth minute of the match.

Dowagiac would hold the 1-0 lead for the remainder of the half.

Unfortunately for the Chieftains fans, Dowagiac’s second half play would bear no resemblance to the play that propelled them to a lead in opening 40 minutes.

The home team made a series of costly mistakes that resulted in three easy Fennville goals, the most glaring of which was a centering pass off of a free-kick in front of the net by Dowagiac goalie Paul Lamphere that was immediately intercepted by Blackhawk forward Felipe Suarez and placed into an open net.

The uncontested goal in the 66th minute would serve as the game winner.

A dumfounded Chieftain coach Mike Williams was left scratching his head when speaking about the botched play.

“We’ve never even done that before, not one time,” He said. “I don’t know why we did it that time either.”

Not even a minute after giving up the go-ahead goal the Chieftains’ made another crucial mistake when yet another centering pass was made in the defensive zone, this one being picked up by Fennville’s Enrique Marshall and placed into the back of the net for the deciding 3-1 lead.

“We just made minor mistakes that normally wouldn’t happen. Unfortunately they added up,” Williams said. “Mistakes like that happen; it’s just unlucky that they happened like that in the districts.”

Though his team was visibly dejected after the tough loss, Williams said his team would hold a final practice where his players would be able to look back on the season as a whole and not just the final game.

“We’ll talk about it, but I want them to reflect on the good memories as well and not just the ending of it (the season),” he said.


Division 3 Districts

Fennville… 3

Dowagiac… 1

Halftime score

Dowagiac 1, Fennville 0


Fennville goals

Felipe Suarez – 53rd and 66th minutes

Enrique Marshall – 67th minute


Dowagiac goal

Joe Pasternak – nine minute


Shots on goal

Fennville 9, Dowagiac 6

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