Dowagiac falls to Sturgis

Published 10:26 am Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dowagiac’s Gavin Green dribbles around a Sturgis defender Wednesday. (Leader photo/RYAN HAINES)

Dowagiac’s Gavin Green dribbles around a Sturgis defender Wednesday. (Leader photo/RYAN HAINES)

Antonio Brito scored the lone goal for Dowagiac as the Chieftains dropped a 3-1 decision to visiting Sturgis in Wolverine Conference soccer Wednesday.

With the perfect fall weather to start the game, both teams had plenty to play for in preparation for MHSAA districts in a week and half.

The first half saw possession going both ways but with Sturgis getting more shots on Dowagiac senior goalkeeper Nick Labadie. Labadie made some keys saves, which kept Sturgis scoreless in the first half.

“His (Labadie) confidence level has improved since the start of the year,” Dowagiac coach Mike Williams said. “Once conference play got going you can see a big difference.”

Dowagiac opened the scoring in the 37th minute.

Sophomore forward Gage Williams found the ball on the right wing, dribbled past two defenders and crossed in the box to Brito. Brito followed up the cross with a toe-poke six yard out that went through the Sturgis Goalkeepers legs.

The start of the second half did not continue for Dowagiac like the end of the first.

Sturgis scored the equalizer in the 42nd minute off of a corner kick.

Eleven minutes later, Sturgis scored a go ahead goal in the 53rd minute. Labadie had no chance at attempting a save. The Sturgis player found the ball at his feet from 35 yards out and curled it into the upper right corner.

“That was probably one of the best goals that have ever been scored on me,” Labadie said.

In the 55th minute, Labadie showed everyone at the Dowagiac APEX how confident he is.  Labadie saved his 11th penalty kick out of 14 chances on the season to keep the game close.

“His saves were all over the place,” Williams said. “You saw what he did today, the confidence is there. He has been fantastic. Effort, attitude, he loves the game. He stops PKs, he really does.”

Sturgis scored an insurance goal in the 75th minute to and solidified the win.

“Sturgis is a good team, we are just not as deep as some of the teams in the Wolverine Conference,” Williams said. “We have kids that can play soccer and move the ball around, but physically they can’t run with them very long. There is going to be breakdowns and that’s when we get scored on. It’s been the story of our season so far. The Wolverine Conference is no joke when it comes to playing tough teams on a weekly basis, which helps you prepare for districts.”

Dowagiac’s next game is Monday at Otsego.



At Dowagiac

Halftime Score

Dowagiac 1, Sturgis 0


First Half

D – Antonio Brito 37th minute (Gage Williams assist)


Second Half

S – 42nd minute

S – 53rd minute

S – 75th minute


Shots on Goal

Sturgis 16

Dowagiac 6



Dowagiac 13 (Nick Labadie)

Varsity record: Dowagiac: 8-7, 1-5 Wolverine Conference