Troy vs. Grand Haven
This game should be very entertaining with both teams coming off of double overtime wins in the regional finals, but the game should also be low-scoring. Grand Haven has 12 shutouts on the season, while Troy has had 13 this year. Troy keeper Matt Smolinski has been one of, if not the top keeper in Oakland County all season long, and for the Colts to move on, they will need another of Smolinki‘s prime-time performances. This is the first time that Troy has made it to the state semifinals since 2003, when Troy won the state title and only time will tell to see if history will repeat itself.
Bloomfield Hills Andover vs. Auburn Hills Avondale
Both teams have put together some impressive defensive performances, with Avondale only allowing three goals in the playoffs and Andover has allowed just one goal in their five playoff games. But the difference in this on will likely be the offenses, Andover has dominated the time of possession throughout the postseason. Andover’s Will Neef has been on first in the playoffs, scoring seven goals to this point and has been a magician when the ball is on his foot, setting up scoring chances left and right for the Barons and becoming a nightmare for opposing backlines.
Birmingham Detroit Country Day vs. Elk Rapids
In a very chippy game last week, Country Day lost two of it’s top players, Tariq and Dean Akeel, who picked up red cards. But the Yellowjackets still have plenty of talent and speed across the board, and if they can utilize that, they will find themselves in the state finals once again. Elk Rapids has put together an impressive 19-2-4 record and were one of the best offensive teams in the state, having score five or more goals in 10 different games this season. On the flip side, Country Day has yet to allow more than two goals in a game this season, not to mention four shutouts in the playoffs thus far. This match-up should be a clash of styles, and I have a feeling that defense will prevail in this one
Prediction: COUNTRY DAY
Allen Park Inner-City Baptist vs. Auburn Hills Oakland Christian
It’s going to be an uphill battle for Oakland Christian if they are going to make a trip to the state finals, they will have to knock off the state’s top ranked team in Division 4. Oakland Christian has already fallen at the hands of Inner City Baptist twice this season, 4-2 and 3-0. If Oakland Christian wants to give themselves a chance, they’re going to need some big time play out of their back line and keeper Luke Combs. Combs is more than capable of putting together shutout performances, having nine to his record this season, and has been very good at keeping opponents off of the scoreboard all season long. While the upset pick is tempting, and it is tough for a team to beat another three different times in one season, but Inner-City Baptist is the number one ranked team for a reason.
Prediction: INNER-CITY BAPTIST