After dealing with a late start to the season in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MHSAA boys’ soccer got underway as scheduled this fall and finished without any interruptions.
2021 All-News-Herald Boys’ Soccer 2nd Team
Locally, Grosse Ile reached the state championship game for the fourth consecutive year while Allen Park Inter-City Baptist advanced to the state semifinals. In addition, Woodhaven earned a fourth consecutive Downriver League title and Riverview captured its second district crown in as many years.
Grosse Ile just missed out on winning the ultimate prize for a third consecutive season, as it fell to Grand Rapids South Christian 3-1 in the Division 3 state finals. The Red Devils finished 21-2-1 overall and 8-0 in the Huron League.
Along the way, Grosse Ile captured a 13th consecutive district crown and a fourth consecutive regional title. In addition, the squad returned to the top of the Huron League after finishing second in 2020.
Inter-City (14-4-2, 6-2-2 MIAC Blue) started out strong and was dominant all season.
The Chargers took second in the MIAC Blue and then went into the playoffs red hot, dominating Huron Valley Lutheran 6-0 in the first round and then defeating Monroe SMCC 5-2 for the district title.
The squad won two exciting regional games, as it beat AA Greenhills in an OT shootout in the semis and then edged Liggett 1-0 in the championship with a last-second goal. Inter-City gave Everest Collegiate a battle in the D4 state semis but fell 1-0.
In the Downriver League, Woodhaven (13-4-2, 8-0-2 DRL) knocked off Edsel Ford in league championship game and claimed the title for the fourth year in a row. The Warriors beat Lincoln Park 4-0 in the district semis but then ran into a tough Monroe team and fell 1-0 in the finals.
Riverview (15-5-1, 6-2 Huron League) was one of the area’s top teams for the second year in a row. The Pirates had the second-best record in the Huron League, behind Grosse Ile.
In the playoffs, Riverview blanked Trenton in the first round 4-0 and then bested Allen Park 5-2 to claim its second consecutive district title. In the first round of regionals, the Bucs ran into a tough Brother Rice squad and fell 4-2.
Also in the Huron League, New Boston Huron (7-9, 6-3 Huron League) had the third-best record in the final standings. The Chiefs reached the championship game of the league tournament with an upset of Riverview and then fell to Grosse Ile. Huron had to face host Allen Park in the first round of the playoffs and was knocked out with a 2-0 defeat.
It was a rebuilding year for Flat Rock (3-17, 0-8 Huron League), which finished eighth in the league. The Rams did get by Canton Prep 5-3 in OT to kick off the playoffs but then suffered an 8-0 loss to Ida.
Back in the DRL, Lincoln Park (10-5-1, 6-4 DRL) had a strong season and finished third in the final standings. The Railsplitters rolled past Wyandotte Roosevelt 9-3 in the first round of the playoffs before suffering the loss to Woodhaven in the district semis.
Allen Park (11-8-2, 6-2-1 DRL) placed fourth in the league and was first among the middle bracket of teams in the position round. The Jaguars opened the playoffs with a 2-0 win over Huron and then edged Gibraltar Carlson 2-1 in the semis before falling to Riverview in the finals.
Trenton (6-8, 4-5 DRL) and Roosevelt (2-7-1, 2-6-1 DRL) were next in the middle bracket while Carlson (10-10, 4-5 DRL) led the final bracket and was followed by Taylor High (2-10-1, 1-7-1 DRL) and Southgate Anderson (2-15, 0-9 DRL). Carlson advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 4-0 victory over Anderson. Trenton also moved on to the district semis with a 4-0 win over Airport.
In the Catholic League, Riverview Gabriel Richard (3-6, 3-3 CHSL Intersectional) and Allen Park Cabrini (3-17, 0-6 CHSL Intersectional) each went through a rebuilding season.
Richard took Huron Valley Lutheran to overtime in the playoffs before suffering a 2-1 defeat. Cabrini ran into a powerful SMCC squad in the district opener exited the postseason with a 9-1 loss.
Meet the 2021 All-News-Herald First Team:
Cannon Kawadri, Grosse Ile: Kawadri dominated on the pitch in 2021 and earned first-team all-state honors. The junior defender was a big reason why Grosse Ile allowed only 14 total goals all season. He also scored 12 times and finished with eight assists.
Trevor Meyer, Inter-City: Meyer shined as Inter-City’s starting goalkeeper in 2021 and earned first-team all-state honors. The junior had 127 saves and a GAA of .875. He posted seven shutouts, including one in the regional championship game, and he allowed only one goal in the state semifinals.
Ali Khaled, Grosse Ile: After bursting onto the scene as a freshman, Khaled shined again for Grosse Ile in 2021. The sophomore midfielder earned first-team all-state honors in a year where he scored four goals and was credited with 16 assists. In the postseason he assisted on goals in both regional games and in the state semifinals.
Jacob Frank, Inter-City: Frank was one of two Inter-City players who earned second-team all-state honors. The senior midfielder led by example during the season and throughout his career. He finished 2021 with six goals and six assists, one of which came on the game-winning goal in the regional final.
Jon Duke, Grosse Ile: Duke capped off his high school soccer career with a huge season at Grosse Ile. The senior midfielder and second-team all-state selection tied for the team lead in goals with 24. He also spent quite a bit of time on the backline in a year where the Red Devils gave up only 14 total goals.
Micah Wright, Inter-City: Wright put up big-time numbers for Inter-City in 2021. The senior forward earned second-team all-state honors in a year where he had 21 goals and 17 assists. In the regional semis, he scored once in regulation and netted the go-ahead goal in an overtime shootout.
Clayton Lafayette, Grosse Ile: Lafayette played a huge role in Grosse Ile’s run back to the state finals. The senior and third-team all-state honoree shined as a defender in a season where the Red Devils allowed only 14 total goals. He also came up big on the other end with seven goals and 17 assists. He has signed on to continue his soccer career at University of Detroit Mercy.
Denin Oglecevac, Riverview: Oglecevac came up big for Riverview in what was just his sophomore season. The midfielder earned third-team all-state honors in a year where he scored 24 goals and picked up 11 assists.
Carson Fowler, Inter-City: A big year from Fowler helped lead Inter-City to the state semifinals. The junior forward and third-team all-state selection finished the year with 16 goals and 10 assists. He scored eight times in the playoffs, including the game-winning goal in the final seconds of the regional final.
Hayden Watson, Grosse Ile: Watson, a junior, served as Grosse Ile’s starting goalkeeper in 2021 and helped guide the team back to the state championship game. He earned third-team all-state honors in a season where he posted 14 shutouts.
Dakota Klindt, Woodhaven: Klindt was a nightmare for opposing defenders in what was his junior season. The forward picked up an all-state honorable mention in a year where he scored 30 goals and was credited with 11 assists.
Zavier Chimienti, Allen Park: A big year for Chimienti earned him an all-state honorable mention. Allen Park coach Brett Bennett described the senior defender as “one of the most well-rounded players I have ever coached.” Defensively, Chimienti was a big reason why the Jaguars posted seven shutouts this year. Offensively, he netted seven goals and picked up seven assists.
TJ Asciutto, Riverview: Only a sophomore, Asciutto earned an all-state honorable mention for the 2021 season. The midfielder shined on both ends of the pitch, as he helped guide the Pirates to nine shutout victories and finished with seven goals and five assists.
Ty Garza, Grosse Ile: Garza wrapped up the soccer portion of his high school athletic career with another impressive season. The senior defender earned an all-state honorable mention in a year where the Red Devils gave up only 14 total goals. Offensively, he scored five times and was credited with 10 assists, one of which came on the game-winning goal in the state semis. He has signed on to play baseball at Barton College.
Connor Ferkalo, Allen Park: Ferkalo was one of two Allen Park players who earned an all-state honorable mention. The senior goaltender consistently made big-time saves throughout the year and helped guide the Jaguars to a winning season. He posted seven shutouts, including one against eventual league champ Woodhaven and one in the playoffs.
Caden Demers, Riverview: Demers helped guide Riverview to 15 wins and a second consecutive district title. The junior forward and all-state honorable mention scored 14 goals for the Pirates and he was credited with 10 assists.
Nico Smith, Woodhaven: After three big years as Woodhaven’s starting goalkeeper, Smith closed out his high school soccer career with yet another impressive season. The senior and all-league honoree posted 10 shutouts in 2021, which helped guide the Warriors to a fourth consecutive league title. Overall, he had 31 career shutouts.
Sebastian Bravo, Lincoln Park: Bravo was a big reason for Lincoln Park’s strong season in 2021. The junior defender and all-league honoree helped guide the Railsplitters to seven shutout victories. He also scored six goals and picked up six assists.
Ethan Mascaro, Trenton: Mascaro served as a leader for Trenton and helped guide the team through an up-and-down season. The senior midfielder and all-league honoree scored three goals and he picked up three assists. He also helped lead the team to four shutout victories, one of which came in the playoffs.
Kyler Ostrowski, Carlson: In just his sophomore season, Ostrowski was Carlson’s Team MVP. The midfielder and all-league honoree tied for the team lead in goals with 19 and he was credited with seven assists.
Reese Deon, Woodhaven: Deon served as a leader for Woodhaven and helped guide the team to a fourth consecutive league title. The senior defender and all-league honoree was a big reason why the Warriors finished with 10 shutouts and allowed only one goal in four other games. Offensively, he scored two goals and picked up four assists.
Anis Majid, Melvindale: Majid was dominant for Melvindale and helped lead the team to a share of its second consecutive conference title. The senior midfielder scored 17 goals for the Cardinals and he picked up 10 assists.
Alex Davenport, Huron: Davenport was named first-team all-league in what was his senior year at Huron. The forward scored 10 goals for the Chiefs and he was credited with nine assists.
Alec Milley, Carlson: Milley, a senior, took on the role of co-captain for the second consecutive season. His leadership was huge for a Carlson team that featured several young players. The speedy forward and all-league honoree netted 10 goals and he had four assists. He was also a member of the school’s football team and was among the top kickers in the region.
Connor Silka, Richard: Silka closed out the soccer portion of his high school athletic career with a solid season at Richard. The senior and all-league honoree scored four goals and he picked up four assists.
Yahir Rodriguez, Lincoln Park: Rodriquez was one of four Lincoln Park players who earned all-league honors for the 2021 season. The senior midfielder served as a leader for a Railsplitters team that finished 10-5-1 and averaged about five goals per game.
Fayez Noman, Melvindale: After a big freshman year, Noman got right back to work for Melvindale. The sophomore served as a forward in the 2021 season and he finished with 14 goals and six assists.
Rowan Gomez, Roosevelt: Gomez, a senior midfielder, was a leader for Roosevelt in what was a tough year for the program. The all-league honoree finished with four goals and six assists for the Bears.
Joey Angel, Taylor: Angel earned all-league honors in what was his senior season at Taylor. He saw time as a midfielder and as a forward in 2021. He netted three goals for the Griffins and picked up several assists along the way.
Zachary Kuszczak, Cabrini: Kuszczak earned All-Catholic honors in what was his first season of high school soccer. The freshman forward helped lead Cabrini through a rebuilding year. He finished with 10 goals and six assists.