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Detroit Catholic Central wins first regional title since 1996 with 2-0 win over AA Pioneer

Football   | Jeff Dullack

Detroit Catholic Central wins first regional title since 1996 with 2-0 win over AA Pioneer

Novi – Despite advancing to the Division 1 regional final on Thursday, Detroit Catholic Central coach Gene Pulice felt his team hadn’t played as well as it could have as the Shamrocks had scored just one goal in each of its first four playoff games.

But on Thursday night, Catholic Central put together a dominant effort at both ends of the field as the Shamrocks earned their first regional title since 1996 with a 2-0 win over Ann Arbor Pioneer.

Pulice said he felt his team got back to playing like what it’s capable of and credited his senior leaders for their play defensively.

“Definitely, this is our old self again, we got back into the swing, knocking it around,” he said. “And it was working for us tonight, we were energetic from the first whistle. Again, I think our leadership in the back was outstanding, our captains Matt Turton and Justin Murray really had the back line organized tonight.”

In the Division 1 semifinals, Catholic Central will face Forest Hills Central at Holt high school on Wednesday, November 4th at 6:00 pm.

Catholic Central got on the board early on in the second half as Charles Trevisan scored just nine seconds after halftime to give the Shamrocks a 1-0 advantage.

“It was just a great effort by a freshman, Charlie Trevisan,” Pulice said. “He broke free, he read the play well, intercepted the ball, put the pressure on them and put it in the back of the net for us.”

Defensively, Catholic Central shut down a Pioneer scoring attack that averaged close to three goals a game in the playoffs and limited the Pioneers to just two shots on goal all game.

The Shamrocks would later add to their lead as Farzad Bagahaie found the back of the net with 11:40 left to play to give Catholic Central a 2-0 lead.

“Originally, I was just subbed on a couple of seconds in,” Bagahaie said of his goal. “I saw a throw-in develop, so just by sheer placement, the ball was thrown in and I was able to pick it up and do a little bit of a diving header and put it in the back of the net.”

Bagahaie also added that his goal helped give the Shamrocks some breathing room in the final minutes of Thursday’s game.

“That was definitely crucial,” he said. “It helped give us some leeway, just in case something happened and it also boosted the morale of the game.”

With the win, the Shamrocks advance to the Division 1 state semifinals for the first time since 1996, when Catholic Central lost to Troy.

Pulice said that when he took over the soccer program at Catholic Central four years ago, he wanted to  change some things with how soccer was perceived at the school and added that to win a regional title is big for the Shamrock’s soccer program.

“It’s huge, when I took over, it was all about changing the perception of soccer at Catholic Central,” he said. “It was a total culture change for the game in our school, we got backed by the staff and the students and the coaching staff. The team is behind us and as much as I’m here, I’m a small part of this, you have 23-24 guys who come out here to play, it’s in their heart, they live and breathe it. But for the program, this is huge and we have an ultimate goal, we’re taking it one game at a time.”