with gallery: Skyline boys soccer season ends with 2-0 state quarterfinal loss to Novi
FARMINGTON - It always felt like the Skyline High School soccer team was in control of its game against Novi on Thursday night.
Playing in the Division 1 regional championship at Farmington High School the Eagles trailed by a goal for nearly the entire game, but with the way they controlled the possession and pace of the game, it always seemed like the tying and go-ahead goals were never far away.
That is, until Novi forward Don Nakashima turned a sliver of space in the box on a throw-in into a bicycle kick goal with just nine minutes remaining.
After Nakashima’s spectacular display of athleticism put Novi ahead 2-0, Skyline’s comeback chances suddenly went from seeming inevitable to impossible, and that’s how the game would end.
“Sometimes you gotta be more lucky than good and tonight I think we were more good than lucky,” said Skyline coach Chris Morgan. “We knocked the ball around really well, we possessed well, did exactly what we wanted to, we just didn’t get the bounces inside the 18 (yard box) We just didn’t capitalize.”
Tim Galloway for AnnArbor.com
Nakashima assisted on Tyler Holt's goal in the 15th minute.
“To be honest (Bakker) did a great job of defending me, that was just the perfect moment, indescribable,” Nakashima said of his bicycle kick. “The time he finally came off of me to go for the ball, I just got the perfect hit. A great moment.”
Skyline midfielder Josh Carn-Saferstien had the Eagles' best chance at a goal in the 65th minute, in the middle of a 15-minute span where Skyline’s constant possession was finally resulting in scoring opportunities in the offensive third. But Carn-Saferstein's shot deflected off of a defender and Skyline was unable to put a rebound on frame.
“It definitely felt like it was coming it was just a matter of time and then they got that last goal and it kind of took the air out of us a little bit,” Carn-Saferstein said.
Carn-Saferstein, a junior, was one of two Skyline players who elected to play for the Eagles (16-3-3) as opposed to playing in the academy system, which just this year switched to a 10-month season. He was rewarded with being part of team history winning the school’s first district championship and beating crosstown rivals Pioneer and previously undefeated Huron along the way.
“It was a really tough decision but I’m glad with it. This year, I’m sure it could have been better if we went further, but it’s the most fun I ever had,” Carn-Saferstein said.
“It wasn’t a cakewalk. Some districts are easier than others. In ours, we fought,” Morgan said. “The seniors have taken us to that level and hopefully we can stay here because getting to this point is very difficult. It’s not an easy thing to do.”