Pontiac, MI (July 7, 2012)- The Michigan Bucks clinched their PDL record tenth Great Lakes Division title with a 5-1 win over the Cincinnati Kings at Ultimate Soccer Arenas on Saturday night. The Bucks displayed their trademark attacking style of soccer from the outset and were on a mission from the opening whistle to insure that the home side retained their status as the only undefeated PDL team in the 73 team league, as well as one of the top scoring groups in the North American league.
The Bucks tendency to have a different offensive leader in each game stayed true to form on Saturday night as Nate Boyden started the game’s scoring when his low shot from eight yards out deflected off the near post into the net to give the Bucks a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute. Boyden finished a through ball from Zach Steinberger, who corralled an Adam Hintz throw in to start the sequence.
While the Bucks were still celebrating their early lead, Kings midfielder Leon Powell picked off an errant Bucks defensive clearance and ripped a 25 yard shot past Bucks goal keeper Adam Grinwis to tie the game just a minute later. Not to be outdone, Bucks Man of the Match Boyden slammed home a pass from Anthony Grant from close range to take back the lead at 2-1 in the 33rd minute. The two goal performance from the
women’s assistant coach brought his personal goal total to five in his rookie season in a Bucks uniform.
The Bucks would continue their normal attacking soccer for the remainder of the first half to try and put the game out of reach. Michigan came into the game only needing a win to clinch the
title thanks to a Friday night River City Rovers loss at FC London. The fired up home side scored their third goal of the game in the 40th minute when Anthony Grant took a through ball from Stefan St. Louis at the top corner of the box and broke in and slotted a ball side netting past Cincinnati goal keeper Hunter Huffman for a 3-1 lead. Less than a minute later, Zach Steinberger would be put through by PDL assist leader Tom Catalano and made no mistake in burying his right footed shot to send the Great Lakes Division champions into the locker room with a 4-1 halftime lead.
The Bucks outshot
21-12 on the night and Bucks goal keeper Adam Grinwis made five saves in registering his sixth PDL win of the season and ninth overall. In the second half, the home side continued to attack the Cincinnati goal, but could not break the game open until Grant took a pass from Matt Bahner in the 80th minute and buried his second goal of the game and team leading eighth of the season to put the game out of reach at 5-1.
The Bucks clinched the Great Lakes Division with a current record of 11-0-2 (35 points) with three games to play, including road trips to Hamilton on Wednesday and Louisville on Friday before closing out the regular season with a home game Sunday, July 15 against the playoff hopeful River City Rovers. The Bucks win combined with the results from the Heartland Division results on Friday insure that regardless of what happens in the next eight days, the Bucks will play the Real Colorado Foxes in the first round of the Central Conference Final Four on Friday, July 20 at a site still to be determined. The Bucks could still possibly host the Conference Finals if they can continue their unbeaten streak for the final three regular season matches.
The Bucks last regular season home game against the River City Rovers on Sunday, July 15 is a special matinee game that will kick off at 2 PM. The Bucks will have a special customer appreciation celebration at that game, highlighted by the annual half time announcement of the Paul R. Scicluna Award winner, the highest honor the Bucks have to award each year as chosen by the team players, coaches and management.
Tickets for the grand finale are $10 Adults and $7 Youth on July 15h but can be purchased for only $6 with the team’s special presale offer only available by visiting the Bucks web site at www.buckssoccer.com.