SOCCER: Saline Boys Capture SEC Red Crown
The Saline varsity boys soccer team clinched the SEC Red championship Thursday evening with an 8-0 victory at Ypsilanti-Lincoln High School.
The Hornets finished the SEC Red season with a 12-1-1 record - finishing two points ahead of Pioneer, who finished with an 11-1-2 record. Each team's only loss was against the other.
Saline entered Thursday's game two points ahead of Pioneer. The Hornets defeated Lincoln 8-0 the first time these teams played.
Coach Ryan Williams and the Hornets were happy after clinching the conference.
"I'm so proud of them. It's a really good conference with so many good teams. It's special. You've got to play all these teams twice. Winning a conference title speaks to consistency. That's something we've stressed," Williams said.
The Hornets had won four straight SEC Red titles before fading down the stretch last year with a young team.
"We didn't win it last year, so (winning this year) was a huge goal of ours. I'm really proud of them," Williams said.
Senior Christian Rossi scored five goals and senior Isaac York scored twice. Collin York scored Saline's eighth and final goal, converting Nick Graden's corner kick to enact the mercy rule just seconds before the final buzzer.
Rossi, who won the SEC Red title with the Hornets in his freshman and sophomore years, was denied last year. That loss made this year's victory a little sweeter.
"It's a great feeling. We didn't do this last year. It's really cool to do this again and I'm really glad we did this again," Rossi said.
Saline finished the regular season with a 15-3-2 record.
Thursday's game was never in doubt. Rossi had three goals and York had Saline's fourth just 18 minutes into the contest.
Goalies Riley Behrman and Gunnar Bohlender split the shutout in goal. Behrman made one tough save in the first half, punching away a hard, high shot from a streaking Railspitter.
Saline now has a rare week off before the playoffs, but the team will be well-practiced for the district tournament. The Hornets host the district tournament. Saline will play the winner of the Huron-Lincoln game at 7 p.m., Oct. 18.
Pioneer, Skyline, Dexter and Belleville sit on the other side of the district.