Dowagiac seniors go out in style

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dowagiac seniors Drew Andrade and Ana Manzano were honored during Monday’s match against Berrien Springs. Manzano had two goals and Andrade an assist for the Chieftains, who won 7-0. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Dowagiac seniors Drew Andrade and Ana Manzano were honored during Monday’s match against Berrien Springs. Manzano had two goals and Andrade an assist for the Chieftains, who won 7-0. (Leader photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

For three years, Dowagiac’s Ana Manzano has played defense for the Chieftain soccer team and watched as her teammates scored goals.

But on senior night Monday, Dowagiac coach Ryan Haines pushed Manzano up front so that she would have a chance to score her first varsity goal in one of her final home games.

Manzano got the thrill of a lifetime when she scored not one, but two goals as Dowagiac defeated Berrien Springs 7-0 in the second round of the Wolverine Conference Soccer Tournament.

With Dowagiac leading 3-0 at halftime. Haines moved up Manzano to start the second half.

She scored the first of her two goals in the 45th minute off an assist by Logan McMeeken. Manzano’s second goal game four minutes later off an assist by Drew Andrade, who is the Chieftains’ only other senior.

“I have waited three years,” Manzano said following the match. “It is an amazing way to close out my final year. I am glad I finally got the opportunity. I am excited.”

Manzano has never played up front for Dowagiac, so there was a bit of anxiety as she tried to score.

“I was really nervous because I have never played that position. I have always been on defense,” she said. “This is so amazing.”

Manzano was swarmed by her teammates after she scored the first goal and her smile could be seen by everyone in attendance.

Haines was proud of his senior.

“Today was all about our seniors, Ana Manzano and Drew Andrade, playing their last regular season game at home,” he said. “I made a switch at halftime and put them both at forward to get some goals. Ana, who is our starting left back, came up big and scored her first two goals of her high school career. I’ve never seen a player so happy.”

The Chieftains were confident coming into Monday night’s match having beaten Berrien Springs 3-2 earlier for their first victory of the season.

Freshman Anayda Lucio recorded what turned out to be the game-winner in the 27th minute. Freshman Daniela Morales scored in the 29th and 33rd minutes to give Dowagiac a 3-0 halftime advantage. Lucio and Cali Rank had the assists.

McMeeken and Rank would finish the scoring with goals in the 50th and 66th minutes, respectively.

“We came out ready to play this game,” Haines said. “Everyone stepped up and played their part in the win today. The freshmen stepped up to score all three goals in the first half and that built the momentum we needed to score three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half.”

While the Chieftains have just two wins on a season that has been filled with injuries, Haines is happy with the progression of the team. His younger players have been improving week by week and his two seniors have given him the leadership he had hoped for.

“With a season full of injuries, losing our starting keeper, Grace Younger to a foot injury and starters Katie Hurrle, Di’Maan McGill and Anne Zebell to head injuries and a knee injury, respectively, we deserved this win with our hard work and determination,” he said. “I’m happy for all of these girls and especially to the seniors for what they did today.”

Dowagiac will wrap up the Wolverine Conference consolation bracket tournament play today at Three Rivers. The match is slated to begin at 6 p.m.

The Chieftains will host Paw Paw in the Division 3 District Tournament opener at 5 p.m. Tuesday.



At Dowagiac

Halftime Score

Dowagiac 3, Berrien Springs 0


First Half

D – Anayda Lucio 27th minute

D – Daniela Morales 29th minute (Anayda Lucio assist)

D – Morales 33rd minute (Cali Rank assist)


Second Half

D – Ana Manzano 45th minute (Logan McMeeken assist)

D – Manzano 49th minute (Drew Andrade assist)

D – Logan McMeeken 50th minute

D – Cali Rank 66th minute



Berrien Springs 10 (Lisita Paea)

Dowagiac 5 (Alyssa Crocker)

Varsity record: Dowagiac 2-14