TRAVERSE CITY — If recent history repeats itself, expect Wednesday’s Division 1 soccer semifinal to be a one-goal game.
Traverse City West (16-6-3) travels to Midland to take on Bloomfield Hills (15-2-5) with a state championship game berth on the line. Both teams have won their last four postseason games by one goal — five by 2-1 margins and a trio of 1-0 decisions.
“Hopefully we can continue to be very good defensively and keep teams to a goal or less,” West coach Jason Carmien said. “We really haven’t won a game this year where we needed to score three goals. The formula is pretty simple for us: We’ve got to be pretty good defensively and keep the game close and then hopefully we can be opportunistic. ... If we’re called upon to score three or four goals, then I don’t think anybody is confident that it would work out for us. We’ll have to continue what we’ve been doing, which is to hold teams to a limited amount of chances and a limited amount of goals.”
And the Titans have been able to do just that in its last four games to be one of the state’s final four teams remaining. West’s combination of stout defense, great goaltending and an opportunistic offense have held opponents to just three goals in four playoff games.
The last three of those wins have come after 80 minutes of regulation.
“I think the boys are not really afraid of much of anything,” Carmien said. “We’ve been taking it one game at a time, like you do in a tournament. We’ve had to play overtime now for three straight games — that’s just kind of the way it goes.”
Bloomfield Hills — a new school created by the merger of Bloomfield Hills Lahser and Andover — has posted all five postseason victories against winning teams. In regionals, they toppled 17-6-3 Utica and handed 18-1-5 Fraser its first setback of the season.