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Beline Obeid

Liggett senior Adante Provenzano had a terrific district tournament, scoring three goals in the Knights three victories. Photo by Renato Jamett
October 24, 2013
The University Liggett boys’ soccer team won its first district championship since 2009 last weekend, edging league foe Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest 3-2 in the title game.

Weather conditions were brutal as a constand drizzle, winds and cold temperatures made the Knights’ home field a muddy, slippery mess, but in the end they prevailed.

“It wasn’t pretty with the tough playing conditions, but the guys played very well and beat a good team,” head coach David Backhurst said. “It’s nice to get that elusive district title, It’s been a few years, but now we won and we move on in the state playoffs.”

LNW scored the first goal 14 minutes into the first half, but with time winding down before halftime, senior Adante Provenzano tallied to make it a 1-1 game.

Provenzano’s assist to junior Will Purvin, who scored early in the second half gave the home team a 2-1 lead.

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The Knights made it a 3-1 game when senior Max Smith scored.

Liggett beat Lutheran Northwest twice during the regular season by identicle 3-1 scores. This time, the Crusaders scored with 20 minutes left to tighten things up.

“We had some anxious moments in the final 20 minutes, but the defense played well and our keeper, senior Patrick Broder, was solid,” Backhurst said.

In the semifinals, Liggett blanked Clarkston Everest Academy and Collegiate High School 5-0 as Purvin had three goals and one assist and Provenzano had two goals and three assists.

“The guys played a very sound game against a solid team,” Backhurst said.

The toughest game came in the first round of the playoffs when Liggett edged Auburn Hills Oakland Christian 1-0.

The Knights lost twice to Oakland Christian during the regular season, 2-1 on the road and 2-0 at home.

“We knew we were up against a tough, big, physical team and we needed to use our quickness and a tough defense to win,” Backhurst said. “This was a huge win for us and it’s the first time in five years we won our first state playoff game.”

Senior Anthony Simon scored in the first half and the defense did the rest. Broder made a couple of fantastic saves in the second half and junior super-defender, Shawn Fair, marked OC’s top forward the entire game.

“It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season and we proved that today,” Backhurst said. “I can’t say enough good things about how well everyone played today against a very strong opponent.”

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