The varsity boys soccer team has to do some scoreboard watching now.
A win against Pontiac on Tuesday would’ve given the Lakers their first league championship since 2002, but the Phoenix dashed those hopes with a 3-2 win.
West Bloomfield’s only way to earn a share of the Oakland Activities Association Blue division title will be if Seaholm and Harrison tie when the schools play each other later this week. The game will be made up this Friday at 5:30 p.m. The game will be played at Harrison.
The Hawks hosted the Maples back in August in a game that was called due to lightning in the first half. That game needs to be made up this week and whichever team wins; wins the title. A tie is the only way that West Bloomfield (12-4-3; 8-2-2 OAA Blue) will factor into the championship picture.
“It’s pretty disappointing,” Lakers coach head coach Jason Clark said. “We just didn’t adjust well (on Tuesday). Pontiac has a grass field over there and a smaller field. I’m not making any excuses, but we just weren’t very focused.”
Pontiac came out and grabbed an early 2-0 lead. West Bloomfield fought back with goals from Mark Shaona and Mark Tarnowsky to tie the game 2-2. The Phoenix scored the game winner on a breakaway with less than seven minutes to go.
“We played them earlier in the season and won 3-0,” Clark said. “After tonight, we have a lot of work to do.”
The Lakers have two games left before districts start next week. They picked up a game on Wednesday at Troy Athens then host Henry Ford on Thursday. Clark added the game against the Red Hawks to help his team gear up for the tough competition they face in districts.
Troy and Adams, two of the top 10 teams in the state, play in the district along with perennial contenders like Seaholm and Brother Rice. West Bloomfield will play its first round game on Monday at home against Waterford Mott at 5 p.m.
“Our district is brutal ... the good news is that Troy and Adams will play each other in the first round,” Clark said. “We could’ve faced both Troy and Adams, instead they’ll take each other out.”
One key for the Lakers will be finding ways to score. Shaona led the team with 20 goals this season and Clark knows Waterford Mott and other opponents will focus on stopping him.
Finding different ways to score will be the way West Bloomfield advances.
“When we are focused and ready to play, we can play with anybody,” Clark said.