PDL SOCCER: Michigan Bucks wrap up 12th division title with shutout of Dayton

| July 18, 2015 | Comments (0)



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PONTIAC — It was only fitting that the Michigan Bucks wrapped up another division title Saturday night on its Fall-of-Fame celebration night, honoring four stalwarts of the program at halftime sandwiched around a dominating 2-0 victory over the Dayton Dutch Lions at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas.

Michigan captured their 12th Great Lakes Division championship in the 20-year history of the franchise and will host the Central Conference regionals next Friday-Saturday, also at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas.

“We accomplished one of our goals which is to win another division championship,” said Bucks head coach Demir Muftari. “It’s been rough being on the road the past few weeks. We’ve played some good teams and were able to get through that (unscathed). It was nice to be able to clinch the division championship here, in front of our fans. Our last (seven) games have been on the road. It was nice to win it in front of them.”

Joe Malachino, Steve Clark, Gary Parsons and Kenny Uzoigwe were the Hall of Fame honorees in front of some 2,000 fans, which saw Michigan dominate Dayton in all phases of the contest. The Dutch Lions (3-9-2) rarely pushed the ball into the Bucks’ third of the field.

Bucks leading goal scorer David Goldsmith tucked in his team’s fourth shot of the game just 8:43 into the contest. Russell Cicerone beat his mark near the touch line and his bending, left-footed cross was redirected into the net by Goldsmith from eight yards out.

The Bucks, who outshot Dayton 13-0 over the first 45 minutes along with four cornerkicks, added to the advantage at the 34:48 mark of first half. Goldsmith struck gold again, retrieving a long pass from David Caban, breaking free down the middle and rifling a shot into the net from 15 yards out.

In the second half, Michigan (11-2-2, 11-1-2 PDL) continued to dominate Dayton, but could not add more to the advantage over the final 45 minutes. The Bucks outshot Dayton 9-1 in the second half but the result was the same, as Michigan moved to 8-1-1 in its last 10 games and head into the postseason playing solid soccer and a team capable of repeating.

The Dutch Lions finally mustered a shot in the 64th minute but could not convert. Bucks netminder Drew Shepherd picked up his eighth win of the season between the pipes, making one save for the team’s seventh shutout.

For the game, Michigan outshot the Dutch Lions 22-1, including 9-1 with shots on frame, and held a 6-1 edge on cornerkicks.

The Bucks outscored its 14 PDL opponents 46-12 this season and earned the right to advance to the PDL postseason for the 18th time in 20 years — the most postseason appearances in PDL history.

Michigan will play the Thunder Bay Chill at 7:30 p.m. on July 24 in the PDL Central Conference regional semifinals. The conference finals will be July 25 at 7:30 p.m. with all games being played the Ultimate Soccer Arenas.

The Bucks captured their second PDL North American title in the past decade last season following four wins in the postseason, including a 1-0 triumph over the Kitsap Pumas in the championship match.

“Now that were in the postseason, our goal is to go as far as we can in the (playoffs),” added Muftari. “There’s a lot of good teams out there and we won’t look past anybody. It’s not going to be easy — it never is. But we’re playing some good soccer right now. We hope to make another run.”

Category: Campus Clips, Colleges / Other, Featured Articles, High School (M-Z), Michigan Bucks, Soccer, Sport

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