WARREN, Mich. - Finding himself in the right place at the right time, De La Salle Collegiate midfielder Jett Schodowski headed in the game-winning goal Tuesday afternoon, helping the Pilots knock off third-ranked Detroit Catholic Central, 2-1, in a key Catholic High School League Central Division matchup at Macomb Community College.
"We like to run a play called two-man, where two guys take the corner real quick," Schodowski said, crediting teammate Alexander Teftsis for a great corner kick. "It created some open space and I made a diagonal run in and headed it in the far post."
The goal broke a 1-1 tie in a game that saw the Shamrocks take it to the Pilots early in the game, only to see De La Salle slowly build momentum as the game went along.
Catholic Central's Nick Johnson scored the first goal of the game at the 17:30 mark, getting a foot on a loose ball in the box. The game would stay that way until the 10:10 mark of the first half when De La Salle junior Spencer LeBeau settled a spot-on crossing pass from senior John Panos and buried it past the Shamrock goalkeeper to tie the game at 1-1.
"We couldn't start any worse than we did those first 20 minutes. We really dodged a bullet," De La Salle head coach Thaier Mukhtar said. "But we kept our composure, we kept our poise. We talked about it at halftime, we said, 'Hey look, we dodged a bullet in that first half. Now it's our half.' "
The Shamrocks (8-1-3) entered the game unbeaten and ranked No. 3 in the most recent Michigan Interscholastic High School Coaches' Association Division I rankings. They were also unbeaten in league play. Both De La Salle and Catholic Central are now 2-1-2 in league play.
"That's a great team, CC is a really good team, but I thought we had the better scoring chances in the second half," Mukhtar said. "I'm very proud of my kids. They switched the field in that second half. They were getting the ball to (Matthew) Rafferty. He was having a great game on the outside, he owned that side of the field."
Mukhtar also highlighted the play of a few others, including LeBeau and Schodowski, who he said did a fantastic job shutting down the middle of the field and thwarting any Shamrock attacks in the second half.
Senior Logan Manor stopped five shots in goal for the Pilots (6-5-3), who travel to Bloomfield Hills Thursday to take on Brother Rice. Catholic Central will host U-D Jesuit Thursday in another key league contest. The Cubs enter that game 3-0-2 in league play.