LAKEVILLE | It was clear on Saturday night that one goal might be enough for a regional title.
That goal finally came in the 77th minute when Andrean forward Michael Gore broke through the Mishawaka Marian defense and gave the 59ers all the offense they needed in a 1-0 win.
It is Andrean’s first regional title since 1996.
“We had a lot of opportunities the whole time, but I was just looking for that one break,” Gore said. “I figured the first team that scores is going to be the team that wins. I was really looking for that one big one.”
Gore finally found his opportunity on a through ball in the middle of the field, dribbling around a pair of defenders before beating the Mishawaka Marian keeper with a ground ball.
“Michael was making a run on the guy, and it was just a matter of if he got the guy on his inside hip,” Andrean coach Pete Reist said. “Once he got there, he established position.”
It was a second consecutive 1-0 win in regional play for Andrean. The 59ers beat Wheeler by that count in Thursday's semifinals.
As Andrean's offense has found a way to get the one goal needed in the last two games, the defense has been doing everything they could be asked of them by keeping matches within reach and recording two shutouts.
“The back line has been playing phenomenal, especially lately,” Gore said. “They’ve been playing some exceptional defense. The key is winning the 50-50 balls out of the air.”
The Andrean defense held Mishawaka Marian to four shots Saturday night, three on goal. 59ers keeper Chris Orozco had three saves.
“I thought we had the better of it early on in the game, then right at the 30-minute mark they took over,” Reist said. “We struggled through and survived and then right at the end we came through again. It came right down to two really even teams. It was a great game. You just can’t give Michael Gore that many chances.”
Andrean will return to Newton Park in Lakeville on Saturday for the semistate.
“It’s a bigger game, but every game’s going to get bigger from here,” Gore said. “It’s just the next game.”