Freitag, Dono each score twice, Salem downs Churchill 5-0 in district opener
Canton - While Canton held on to beat Plymouth 2-1, across campus was another district boys soccer game between Salem and Livonia Churchill (8-4-1).
Unlike the close finish between Canton and Plymouth, the Salem-Churchill game was never in doubt.
Thomas Dono gave Salem (5-6-4) a 1-0 lead just three minutes into the match. It came off of a rebound from a shot by Jamie Crosby.
Dono’s goal would be all Salem needed as the Rocks cruised to a 5-0 victory in a Division 1 first round game on Tuesday.
Christian Freitag scored less than 10 minutes after Dono’s goal to give Salem a 2-0 lead. Dono assisted on the goal.
Freitag was pleased with his team’s effort insisting that it was a large reason Salem played so well.
“I feel like it was just our communication and our quick play, quick passing,” Freitag said. “Stuff like that really brought us to that next step.”
Churchill’s best opportunity to score came when forward Justin Jenkins blocked a Salem corner clearance attempt, but the ball landed right into the hands of Salem goalkeeper Andrew Kozan.
Crosby scored on a cross from Jason Warras and Salem led 3-0 at halftime.
While Churchill goalkeeper Michael Lubonja did not get the result he was looking for, he made several big saves to keep his team in the game at the half.
In the second half the script stayed true to Salem’s dominating play.
With 32:31 left in the second half, Dono scored his second goal of the game. Initially it had appeared Lubonja made a fantastic diving save. However, the side judge ruled that the ball crossed the goal line on the rebound, and Salem led 4-0.
The final goal of the night was scored by Freitag on an assist from Mariglen Serjanaj.
Salem head coach Kyle Karns was very pleased with his forward’s performances tonight, saying to them after the game it was their best combined effort all season.
“I was happy and pleased with the pressure we got,” Karns said. “With five goals in the game it’s a good result. A lot of riding this district wave is carrying momentum and having that from one game to the next. So to have five (goals) and be playing well is a good spot.”
Salem will play Canton in a semifinal on Thursday. Both Freitag and Karns know getting past Canton won’t be easy.
“I feel like we were a little bit slow at the start,” Freitag said. “We didn’t really go into it right away. We have to be quicker on the get-go so we can get that quick goal and then we can sit back and do what we do best.”
“It’s one of those where the boy’s kind of know going into it who it is and the stakes of that game, and so we are going to prepare, we’ll have a good session that we’ll run tomorrow, and just make sure we’re mentally focused for that game,” Karns said.
Thursday’s winner will play the winner of Dearborn Heights Crestwood-Wayne Memorial in the district final on Saturday.