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Second-half surge powers Manistee past Hart en route to boys district soccer title

Chippewas earn first district championship since 2008, advance to next week’s regional at Clare.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

HART — Wednesday was not the first time this season that Manistee’s boys soccer team roared back in the second half for a victory on Hart’s field.

This one meant a lot more, however.

The Chippewas used a second-half surge to overcome a halftime deficit and earn a Division 3 district championship with a 3-2 victory, the same score by which they defeated the host Pirates in a West Michigan Conference regular-season match Sept. 12.

Manistee (16-3-0) advances to Tuesday’s 5 p.m. regional semifinal at Clare, where the Chippewas will face the winner of the Alma-Clare district final scheduled for Thursday (Oct. 20).

It’s Manistee’s ninth-straight win and first district title since 2008, when the Chippewas advanced to the regional finals before losing to a Whitehall squad that finished as Division 3 state runner-up.

Hart, which was seeking its first district championship in a decade, closes its season with a 13-7-2 record.

Here are notables and more details from the match:

  • During the teams’ regular-season meeting, the teams went into halftime scoreless. Hart took a 2-0 lead, then Manistee answered with three goals in the final seven minutes en route to a 3-2 victory.
  • In Wednesday’s district final, Hart broke a scoreless tie about 12 minutes into the game as senior captain Guillermo Ortega sent a well-placed cross from the right side into the penalty area, where junior Josue “Chico” Salgado converted a header to the back post.
  • Hart maintained a 1-0 halftime lead. Manistee tied the match about 12 minutes into the second half when the Chippewas were awarded a penalty kick and junior Luke Smith capitalized with a shot just inside the right post.
  • Manistee took its first lead about four minutes later. Off a corner kick, Chippewas senior Gres Mandelli was credited with punching the ball into the net from a scrum in front of the goal to make it 2-1.
  • Hart answered with about 11 minutes remaining, when senior captain Tony Rayo sidestepped a defender and fired a rocket into the bottom right corner from outside the 18-yard box to tie it at 2.
  • Manistee netted the game-winner less than a minute later, when junior Jacob Scharp scored on a rebound. It was Scharp’s second game-winner in three days, as he scored the Chippewas’ lone goal with 25 seconds left in Monday’s 1-0 nail-biter vs. Shelby.
  • Hart seniors Tony Rayo and Guillermo Ortega share the Pirates’ single-season assist record with 15 apiece.
  • Thirteen wins are the most for Hart has accumulated in a season in a decade.
  • Hart graduates nine seniors from this team.
  • Hart goalie Kyan Clark was outstanding. The senior captain made several tough saves in his final game in a Pirates uniform.



Manistee beats Hart, 3-2, for a Division 3 boys district soccer title. The Chippewas surge late and then celebrate. #fyp #catchmarksportsnet #csn #mhsaa #manisteemichigan #soccer #hart #tourney #trophy #oleoleole

♬ Ole Ole Ole – Ak & The LAX Bros


Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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