Dexter came into Friday’s District championship game with visiting Tecumseh with an impressive 18-5-1 record. But two of those losses came against the talented Indians (20-1-0) – beating Dexter three times in one season doesn’t happen very often and it didn’t happen in 2016.
Dexter scored the only goal of the game on a penalty kick in the first half as the Dreadnaughts defeated the SEC White Division champions 1-0 to win the District title and advance to the regionals.
Dexter will play at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Farmington High School against Dearborn Divine Child. The Falcons defeated South Lyon East 5-0 to win its District tournament.
“It was a quality win,” Dexter Coach Scott Forrester said. “Playing an opponent like Tecumseh makes the win that much more gratifying. This opponent made us play better, and the players stepped up to meet the challenge and add to the soccer tradition here.”
Tecumseh defeated Dexter 1-0 and 2-1 during the regular season to claim the SEC White title. The Dreads finished second.
“We didn’t reach one of our goals this year, that of winning the division, but moving on to district play, another goal was before us and these young men stepped up to the challenge and won against a quality opponent,” said Forrester, who has built a soccer powerhouse both the boys and girls teams in his 13 years as coach.
The match’s only goal resulted from Anton Hein’s run into the Indian penalty box and was bullied down to the ground. Hein took the ensuing penalty kick and buried it.
Against Tecumseh’s talented keeper, who will play next year at Detroit-Mercy, a penalty kick isn’t a sure thing as he stopped two in the shootout Thursday against Chelsea.
Second-half action continued with each team’s scoring chances foiled by quality goal keeping and solid defensive play.
“Most refer to the players in front of the keeper as defenders, but I call them backs,” Forrester said. “My rationale, when the other team has the ball, all Dreads defend. When we have the ball, we all attack.”
That philosophy was apparent as Dexter’s Daniel Higgins, a midfielder, cleared one off the line late in the game.