BOYS SOCCER: Adams repeats as district champion with victory over Utica Eisenhower | North Oakland Sports
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BOYS SOCCER: Adams repeats as district champion with victory over Utica Eisenhower

| October 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.Stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

 

LAKE ORION — Protecting a one-goal lead in a pressure-cooked situation such as a state tournament is a difficult task. Trying to do the same with gail force winds in your face is another.

Rochester Adams dodged such a bullet Saturday afternoon.

The Highlanders held off Utica Eisenhower in the second half to claim a Division 1 district championship with a 2-1 victory at Lake Orion High School. IT marked Adams’ first back-to-back district titles since winning three straight from 1999-2001 and ninth overall in a 15-year span.

Adams (10-4-6) will face Traverse City Central at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Utica High School in the D-1 regional semifinals.

“We just held them off with every thing we had. We knew, with the wind, that they would be coming at us,” said Adams coach Josh Hickey. “We had to change our tactics (in the second half) because if we didn’t we would be in trouble. We knew that would play hard. We had to sit back more, play solid defense and give it everything we had. We played a lot of guys, like 20 deep on our bench. It was pretty intense.”

Adams netted the game-winner with 15:59 to play in the first half, when senior Kevin Leccioni headed in a long serve into the penalty box from ssenior Nick Lumsden. It marked Leccioni’s team-leading 17th goal of the season and the Highlanders’ defense made it stand down the stretch.

“We have two standouts on offense. One guys has 13 goals and eight assists, and the other has 17 goals and five assists,” offered Hickey. “They work hard, get on the end of balls and a lot of credit goes to the guys who served those balls.”

Eisenhower took advantage of the stiff wind during the final 40 minutes and posted a 7-1 shots edge in the second half, but senior goalkeeper Dylan Beyer made a pair of clutch saves and finished with three saves in the contest.

Adams scored in only the game’s second minute, when junior Lennart Zorn headed home a bending corner kick from sophomore Matthew Leccioni.

Eisenhower (12-8-5) netted the equalizer with 37:15 left in the first half, when Justin Schueneman chipped the ball over Beyer and an Adams’ defender failed to clear the ball of the goal line on a desperation sliding play.

It marked the third straight season that Adams ousted Eisenhower during the district tournament.

“I thought we played really well (this week). We really picked it up at the end of the season,” said Eisenhower coach Josh VanHouten. “We bought in to a new philosophy and we did better than what a lot of people predicted.”

 

 

 

 

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About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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