EAST LANSING – Harry DeHaven and the Haslett soccer team didn’t perform as well as they would have liked Tuesday.
The Vikings still found a way to pull out a victory and keep their season alive.
Haslett got a bounce to go its way as it recorded a 3-1 victory over Eastern in a Division 2 district opener at the East Lansing Soccer Complex.
Torsten Holland, Harry DeHaven and Paul Fiorillo had goals for the Vikings, who advance to face Ionia in a district semifinal Thursday.
“A win is a win, and we’re glad to advance to play Ionia,” DeHaven said.
DeHaven delivered the key play for Haslett (8-10-1) in the second half. With the contest deadlocked at one, DeHaven fired a shot from a little more than 30 yards out that trickled in past the Eastern goalkeeper with 12:24 remaining.
“I knew we were a much better team than we performed in the first half and I thought someone needed to spark our momentum,” DeHaven said. “I just felt why not rip a shot. The keeper was giving up some rebounds earlier so I just took the shot. I was hoping for maybe a rebound, but it went in.”
DeHaven was a little surprised to see the shot bounce in, but knew anything was possible because of the ground being wet from the rainy conditions.
“The entire bench was like don’t shoot it because he was so far out,” Haslett coach Darus Ward said. “But when the grass is wet and you skip the ball in front of the goalie, you never know what can happen. We tell the guys to shoot the ball and that it doesn’t have to be a perfect shot. Sometimes that’s how the ball bounces and I’m glad it was in our favor.”
Fiorillo scored 21 seconds after DeHaven’s go-ahead goal for Haslett.
“Our goalie really played great all night,” Eastern coach Jeff Davis said. “It was just kind of unfortunate. It was a wet night and he was fighting it a little bit.
“We played 70 minutes and it was pretty even. I’m pretty happy with the way we fought. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t the cleanest soccer game ever as far as possession and everything but I thought we did well.”
Ciza Gideon had Eastern’s lone goal.
St. Johns posted an 8-0 victory over Waverly in the other early district opener at the East Lansing Soccer Complex.
Contact Brian Calloway at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.