TRAVERSE CITY — With or without its starting goaltender, Traverse City West is moving on to the district finals.
The Titans led 2-0 in the 17th minute of Wednesday’s Division 1 district soccer semifinal against rival Traverse City Central, then held on for a 2-1 victory to advance to Saturday’s finals.
“Seventy minutes of calm and 10 minutes of chaos,” West coach Carmien said.
And then a little more of a storm after the game, as Titans senior goaltender Justin Kraft made obscene gestures to the Central crowd.
Carmien said Kraft’s status for Saturday’s district final will be decided later.
“It’s one of those things where we have to take a look,” Carmien said. “I don’t have any information and I’m not going to deal with it (Wednesday). I’ll deal with it (today). I’ll sit down and see what happened. Emotions run high in these games. It’s the third game of the year (against Central). People don’t understand how difficult it is for teenage boys to go into this environment three times in a year. And when your season is on the line, it’s even more so. Justin played very well, but we’ll take a look.”
If Kraft is suspended for Saturday’s final at the winner of today’s Midland Dow-Saginaw Heritage game, junior Noah Withey would likely start in net in his place.
Kraft had six saves in Wednesday’s victory and seemed unapologetic when confronted on the field about his conduct by West athletic director Patti Tibaldi.
“Let’s focus on the positives,” Carmien said. “It was a great game and great to move on in the district tournament, and hopefully Saturday we can get a district title.”
West (13-6-3) scored fairly early, as senior Christien Geiger struck on a run up the right side off a long Marvin Lentz pass in the 11th minute.