Wildcats are District champs

Haley Hagen • couriersports@vineyardpress.biz
The Mattawan Wildcats show off their Division 2 District trophy, after defeating the St. Joe Bears, 3-0.

   The Mattawan boys soccer team claimed the District championship at Paw Paw last Saturday afternoon, and continued into Regional play with a win Tuesday evening in Eaton Rapids.
   The Wildcats took on DeWitt in the Regional Semifinal, and dominated the field, resulting in a 4-1 victory and a chance to play for the Regional crown.
   Goals by Connor Burkett, Brandon Sysol, and two goals by Josh Filiputti secured Mattawan a comfortable 4-0 lead by halftime. DeWitt managed to sneak one shot passed the Wildcat defense in the second half.
   The Wildcats were to face Middleville Thornapple Kellogg Thursday night for the Regional championship.
   In the District championship game at Paw Paw, the Wildcats faced the St. Joseph Bears for a third time this season. During regular season play, Mattawan won the first face-off, 3-1, and the Bears took the second meeting, 2-0. In the District final, Mattawan scored three goals in the second half to take the title, 3-0.
    Though the first half was scoreless, each team took multiple shots on goal. Mattawan goalie Carson Foor kept the Bears from scoring with a big stop before the first half ended; then, after halftime, Mattawan quickly took full control of the game.
   Only one minute into the period, Chad Harrison found Connor Burkett, who scored the first goal of the game. Shortly after, Burkett upped the Wildcats’ lead to 2-0 when he booted the ball toward the St. Joe goal on a corner kick. The Bears defense managed to kick the ball out of the box, where it was met by Mattawan’s Connor Williams who made a solo shot into the goal.
   With just two minutes left, Mattawan secured the  title win with a solo goal by Harrison. 


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