BLOOMFIELD HILLS – The Andover High School varsity boys soccer team never let up on Tuesday.
The host Barons kept up the attack against the Trenton Trojans defense for nearly all of Tuesday's Division 2 regional game. Will Neef continued his strong season and led the charge with a half-dozen shots on goal and the game winner.
The senior forward ended a scoreless tie with 15:40 remaining in the game on an assist from Lawrence Varley. Andover added an insurance goal to win 2-0 and advance to the regional finals on Friday night.
“We knew we were going to get chances,” Andover Head Coach Geoff Parkinson said. “I just told them you have to be patient.”
Trenton goalie Kyle Gill was constantly under fire. The junior had 10 saves by half time and did a tremendous job of keeping the game close. Neef finally broke through on play where he split three Trojan defenders.
“He’s pretty sneaky,” Parkinson said. “I was afraid they were going to take him down.”
Varley hit Neef with a perfect pass about 10 yards outside the goal box. Neef charged ahead and somehow was able to stay on his feet as the defense collapsed in on him.
“Lawrence made a great pass into the middle and I just saw the opening, at that moment you hit it full speed and hope you can get through,” Neef said.
Jacob Rosenzweig added to the lead with 5:58 left in the game. Trenton pulled its defense forward and Rosenzweig capitalized by beating the defender one-on-one up the field. Gill left his feet to try and make a diving stop.
Once the goalie left his feet, Rosenzweig dribbled the ball past him and scored on the open net.
“We don’t face that caliber of teams where we come from,” Trenton Head Coach Tony Ciarlo said. “I thought we played well, we held them until there was about 15 minutes left and that was our plan. Let's try to get in one and play defense.”
The plan might have worked had Andover not been so talented. Ciarlo called the Barons the best team the Trojans have played all season.
“We just couldn’t get an attack started,” he said.
Andover’s team speed prevented Trenton players from getting any space in the open field. In the second half, the Trojans only managed one shot in the first 30 minutes.
The Barons move on for a game against St. Clair Shores Lake Shore in the regional finals at home on Friday at 7 p.m.
Lake Shore was supposed to play Ypsilanti on Tuesday in the early game at Andover. Neither team showed up for the match and it was announced that Ypsilanti had to forfeit for having an ineligible player on its roster.
Parkinson had planned on watching the game to scout both teams. The coaching staff doesn’t know that much about Lake Shore outside their record and reputation.
“They did real well in their league,” Parkinson said. “We were in their district a couple years ago.”
At this point in the season, Parkinson said he hopes his team is ready to face anybody. With three straight postseason wins, the Barons players sure look like they are.
“To come together as a team and put together great performances every night is a huge confidence builder,” Neef said. “I believe we are playing our best soccer of the season right now."