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October 16, 2013

Cranbrook gets past St. Mary's 4-2 in district semi, has chance to defend 2012 title

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Cranbrook's Jack Christides (5) battles for the ball with St. Mary's defender Brenden Slicker. The Cranes scored twice in the second half and won the D-2 district semifinal game.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — From the post, to the back of the net, to the district final.

A magical season moves on to its next trick.

The Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood soccer team struck early and struck late Wednesday afternoon at home, turning a 2-2 tie against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s into a 4-2 victory in a Division 2 district semifinal.

“The game had waves of emotion,” C-K coach Chad O’Kulich said after the game. “I think as the second half got going and we were able to make some adjustments, we got stronger and were able to execute better.”

The teams were tied at 2-2 with less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation when C-K got the winner.

Off a throw in from the right corner, Sam Orley emerged with the ball and drilled a shot of the left goal post.

The rebound came right back to him, and he didn’t make the same mistake twice.

Roughly five minutes later, John Whiting gave the Cranes a 4-2 lead.

“This was a huge win,” Whiting said. “(St. Mary’s) played so tough.”

“We played a great game for about 50 to 60 minutes,” Eaglets coach Joe Ruffolo said. “We just couldn’t avoid some mental mistakes today, and when we made them, that’s a very skilled Cranbrook team that took advantage.”

The Cranes led 2-0 in the first half when Paul Holmes scored six minutes into regulation and Jack Christides notched a goal roughly 20 minutes later.

St. Mary’s evened the game before halftime on goals by Dominic Perelli and Mike Beckett.

C-K, now 15-1-2, advances to Friday’s district final against Auburn Hills Avondale.

Avondale beat Country Day 1-0 in the other semifinal.

The game is set for 3:30 p.m. at Cranbrook.

St. Mary’s ends its season at 6-13-1.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.