By Alex Hardie
Both Dexter varsity and JV teams went undefeated on the weekend.
The Berkley High School Bears would open up the season against a Dexter team that lost in the regional semifinals last year. Berkley struck first midway through the first half and carried that lead in to the half-time break.
Four minutes into the second half, Dexter’s Daniel Higgins headed in a free kick from Jordan Laski. Just beyond the midway point, Cole Harreld finished on a pass from Higgins for the 2-1 lead.
With under a minute left, a questionable penalty was called against the Dreads. As the ball doesn’t lie, keeper Max Harreld made a fantastic save to keep the win intact.
“We deserved the win, in fact if we finished our early chances, we wouldn’t have put ourselves in a situation for the officiating to matter as much as it did,” said Dexter Coach Scott Forrester. “It was a good first game for us that may be the first indication of how far we may go this season.”
In the second match of the day, Dexter faced the Cardinals from Davison. Daniel Higgins would give them ‘an early welcome’ 6 minutes into the game when a long ball played in by Cole Harreld was tapped over an on-rushing keeper by Higgins.
A few minutes later, Alex Doletzky received a ball from Connor Flaherty and struck a 30-yard worm burner, surprising the Cardinal keeper. Another couple of minutes later, Ryan Sanders was pushed down from behind in the penalty box, resulting in the spot kick. Sanders took it without hesitation making it 3-0.
With minutes remaining before halftime, Higgins worked hard to get on the end of a C. Harreld cross, and finished it with great determination.
Davison did well to hold the 4-0 score line to the end of the game, though the Dreadnaughts created some additional scoring chances.
“Everyone got to play in this game allowing more players to gain valuable game experience and resting some of the other players legs for the third game,” said Forrester.
The Dreadnaught faced the Hartland Eagles in the final match of the day. Shy of 10 minutes into the match, Matt Roller sent a free kick in to the box that Higgins played through to a sliding finish by Sanders and a 1-0 lead.
The one-goal lead was taken into half time where Forrester didn’t appear to be satisfied. “We started off the half with fast ball movement that decreased near the end of the half,” said Forrester.
Just over six into the second half, Sanders was taken down in the penalty box with what could only be described as a cross body block…wrong sport, wrong place for a foul. Sanders stepped up for the penalty kick and finished it with confidence.
Midway through the half, Jaylen Bonilla stepped up to take a free-kick from 24 yards out and bent it perfectly into the far upper corner of the Eagle goal.
Dexter finished the game with a 3-0 win and the day with a 3-0 record.
“Three games in one day against quality opponents allowed me to see what potential we have with our starters, our depth and where players may benefit the team,” said Forrester. “Our defense showed well, we had good stretches of possession and showed some diverse ways that we may attack the opponent’s goal.”
The JV team went undefeated on the weekend with a 5-0 win over Bay City Western, a 1-1 draw with Hartland and a 2-1 win over Davison.
Both teams have their home opener this Tuesday with the JV kicking off at 4 p.m. against league rival Tecumseh, followed by the varsity kick off at 5:30 p.m.
Last year Tecumseh won the SEC including two regular season wins against Dexter. The Dreads got their revenge with a 1-0 win in the District finals.