By Alex Hardie
The Dexter boys' varsity soccer team earned its way into the state semi-finals with a hard-fought win over the fifth ranked Bulldogs from Mason on Thursday.
Both goals came within a minute and a half of the end of each half. Mason had a quicker start than the Dreads, but couldn’t find a way to score an early goal.
As time ticked off the clock, Dexter gained more possession of the ball and mounted some attacking thrusts forward. Mason continued to control most of the play but couldn’t create any dangerous scoring threats.
With 1:40 left in the first half, the Dreads struck for their first goal when Max Amann took a miss-cleared ball and fired it through the crowded penalty box for the goal.
In the second half, the Bulldogs pressed Dexter’s keeper Rhys Moller to make some saves. Finally a long ball played into Mason’s end, was controlled by Bobby Toth. Drawing the attention of the defenders, Toth laid the ball off to Jake Rayer for the additional goal, securing the victory for the Dreads.
“It was nice to have Tony Pisto back from his three game lay off due to injury, to help shore up our defense," coach Scott Forrester said. "He, along with fellow defenders Owen Brooks, Levi Kipke, Luke Bazick and keeper Rhys Moller, stopped a quality team from scoring.
"The players were told that they had to bring their 'A game,' and they brought their, 'A game.' It makes it more special when you play against a quality opponent like Mason. It made this regional championship that much sweeter.”
Dexter will now face the winner of the Unity Christian/Spring Lake regional final Oct. 31 at Plainwell High School at 6 p.m.