Leland School defeated Ann Arbor Greenhills 1-0 yesterday to capture the school’s first state soccer crown with a single goal 7 minutes in by Jesus Calderon-Balcazar backed by the Comets’ stellar defense & ball control. Here’s a video with some clips from us and the Leland Chamber of Commerce of the post-game celebration.
The 1-0 victory was the 17th shutout on the season for the Comets, known for their explosive offense and perhaps underappreciated for their stifling defense.
Greenhills mustered only five shots on the afternoon and only three required a save from Miller. The back line — J.J. Popp, Owen Kareck, Andy Mosqueda and Colin Satterwhite — kept everything in front of it.
“I didn’t have to do much,” Miller said. “I don’t know what else to say, they were incredible.”
Calderon-Balcazar’s goal — his third in two games after netting two in the semifinal — put all the pressure on Greenhills early. Leland’s touch passing and ball control exacerbated the Gryphons’ struggles.
“That was huge. He had a couple in the semifinal. He’s had a great postseason,” Burda said. “He had the hot foot for the night. He was dicing people up, dribbling through everybody and making the right passes. What a momentum shift early on. It put them on their heels right from the beginning … They were chasing us most of the second half.”
2018 Division 4 State Soccer Champions – photo by Laura Miller
Victory Formation – photo by Laura Miller
UPDATE: Leland is headed to the their first state title game against defending Division 4 champion Ann Arbor Greenhills after defeating No. 3 Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central 3-2 in Holland last night. The game is Saturday at noon at Comstock Park (150 6 Mile Rd NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321). The Record-Eagle reports:
“This is history in the making,” Leland senior captain Cobe Lund said. “We just made history. But we are trying to make it all the way. That was always the goal and now we are one step closer.”
No. 2-ranked Leland (23-1-3) is headed to the program’s first state title game against defending Division 4 champion Ann Arbor Greenhills after defeating No. 3 Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central 3-2 in Holland on Wednesday.
The Comets haven’t lost since the 2-0 season opener against Division 2 Cadillac and have not allowed more than two goals in any game this season.
The two-and-a-half-month streak has been building up to this point, but the Comets have done their best to ignore the obvious.
“We are on this roll and we haven’t talked about it one bit,” Leland head coach Joe Burda said. “I think that is intentionally from the coaches’ standpoint and we haven’t needed to. We had that in the back pocket for a halftime speech or whatever.”
The Leland Lodge shared this awesome video from this morning of the Leland Public School Boys Soccer team on their way to the MHSAA State Soccer Finals. The Comets (22-1-3) are ranked #2 in Division 4, and they trounced McBain Northern Michigan Christian 8-0 on their way to a dramatic 1-0 shootout win over #1 Muskegon Western Michigan Christian to secure the regional title. They will face 18-6-1 Kalamazoo Hackett (ranked #3) at 7 PM this evening in Holland (600 Van Raalte Ave Holland, MI 49423).
If they win, they’ll face the winner of #4 Genesse Christian v Ann Arbor Greenhills on Saturday (Nov 3). Get all the details from the Michigan High School Athletic Association and Go Comets!!