The Student News Site of Plymouth-Canton Educational Park

The Perspective

The Student News Site of Plymouth-Canton Educational Park

The Perspective

The Student News Site of Plymouth-Canton Educational Park

The Perspective

A bitter ending: Northville beats Salem 3-2 in district final soccer game.

Lucas Gentilia
Senior Bennett Quijano takes a shot on net durning a free kick. Oct. 23, 2023.

October 20 was the last day the 2023-24 Salem Rocks Varsity Boys Soccer team came to class dressed in formalwear, the last time the players laced up their shoes and the last day they took the field together as a family. In Salem’s fifth straight district final appearance, the Northville Mustang’s forceful offense proved just strong enough to edge out the Rocks 3-2, in one of the Rock’s most hard-fought games of the year.

I’m gonna remember the way we battled all year, said Veresh. It’s tough to come up short, tough to see my boys go, but I’m gonna remember this team forever.

— Tommy Veresh

Northville starts hot

The Mustangs had possession for much of the first 10 minutes of the match. The No. 1 seed in the KLAA West, Mustangs struck early 13 minutes in when the ball crossed into the Salem penalty box. Senior Tyler Berezak tried to clear the ball away but got a bad bounce and scored on his own net. Northville Junior Haithem Al-Zoubi was credited with the goal. Later in the half, the Mustangs, which had their best season in recent memory in 2023 with a 16-2-1 record in the regular season, increased their lead in the game to two in the 38th minute. Northville centered the ball into the penalty box from near the corner flag and snuck the ball past senior goalkeeper Tommy Veresh. 

Rocks come out of the locker room determined

Despite the two-goal deficit, the Rocks fired back with a goal of their own three minutes into the second half. Senior Kyle Peterson broke down the field blitzing past his defender to receive a pass then blasted a kick to the left of the Mustangs’ goalkeeper. The entire Rocks team rushed down the field celebrating with Peterson. 

Salem’s defense had a new life as well. In six combined games against Plymouth and Canton, Veresh hadn’t allowed a single goal, out-scoring P-CEP teams six to zero. This dominance continued in the second half of Friday night’s contest with multiple diving stops by Veresh. Not long after, Peterson scored his second goal of the game. 

“This whole season I’ve been working toward this moment,” said Peterson. “This last game might be my best memory [with Salem]. 

Ultimately came up short

Halfway through the second half of the game, Al-Zoubi got his second goal of the night off of a free kick assist by senior midfielder Emir Tascioglu. For the rest of the game, Salem seniors left everything on the pitch, knowing this could be their last game of the season. As the horn went off at the end of the game, Rocks players fell to the ground in agony. Salem players didn’t leave the field for more than 30 minutes after the game ended spending the final moments of the season sharing hugs and tears alike with teammates, parents and friends. 

The Rocks had many memorable moments this season, and Veresh has no intention of leaving the memories behind. “I’m gonna remember the way we battled all year,” said Veresh. “It’s tough to come up short, tough to see my boys go, but I’m gonna remember this team forever.” 

Salem Rocks head coach Kyle Karns said he was happy with how the season unfolded for his players. “I think the development that we had from the beginning of the season to the end is what we’ll take away from [the season].” 

Karns has high expectations for his team next season and is confident in his players’ abilities. “The juniors will just step right in.”

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About the Contributor
Lucas Gentilia, Business Manager / Sports Editor
Lucas Gentilia is a senior at Salem High School that loves being surrounded by friends and other energetic people. He is involved in all types of activities, including The National Honor Society, Student Council 2024, Link Crew, the Salem Rocks Baseball Team and The Perspective newspaper staff. His life isn’t always centered around school however; he is in love with music, and always has an Airpod in his ear. He enjoys artists like Mac Miller, Mac Demarco and Kendrick Lamar. In addition, he loves weightlifting, golf and watching sports in person whenever he can.

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