Chieftains win district soccer title

Published 5:57 am Monday, October 25, 2004

By By SCOTT NOVAK / NIles Daily Star
It's been 15 years in the making, but Dowagiac can call finally call itself a district champion.
The Chieftains captured the Division 3 district title Saturday morning with a 3-1 victory over Bridgman in horrible weather conditions.
Dowagiac, which hosted the district tournament, won the school's first ever boys' district championship. The Chieftains began its soccer program in 1989.
The Chieftains made good on their second consecutive trip to the district finals.
Last year Dowagiac lost to eventual state champion South Haven in last year's final.
The Chieftains (10-9) used three first half goals to seal its first district championship. The final goal of the first half came off a Bridgman turnover and crossed the goal line just as the first half was coming to a close.
Bridgman, which dropped a 2-1 decision to the Chieftains earlier in the season, score the only goal of the second half, but could not get the ball past the Dowagiac defense or goalkeeper Aaron Wilson.
The constant rain, which at times was extremely heavy, kept both teams from playing the type of game everyone expected.
However, Dowagiac made the most of its chances in the first half and then turned the match over to its defense.
Dowagiac took just four shots in the first half, scoring on three of them.
The Chieftains opened the scoring on a goal by senior Brian Edgerly with 32:20 remaining in the opening half.
Edgerly's shot came from 20-yards out and easily beat Bridgman goalkeeper Matt Haughey.
Neither team had many quality scoring chances over the next 25 minutes, however, with 5:12 remaining Edgerly beat a Bridgman defender and fed the ball to D.J. Ennesser to beat Haughey for a 2-0 Dowagiac advantage.
Pat Brosnan then put the match away when he took advantage of another Bridgman turnover in its own half of the field and score as time expired in the first half.
Bridgman,14-7-2, averted the shutout with 29:40 left in the second half when Jake Jones scored.
The Bees outshot the Chieftains 19-7, however, Wilson came up huge time and time again.
Wilson finished with 11 saves, his best coming late in the second half off a Bridgman.
Dowagiac heads into regional play on Tuesday at Grandville Calvin Christian High School.
The Chieftains face the Grand Rapids West Catholic district winner at 4 p.m.