Gull Lake Returns to State's Elite
June 15, 2013
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
WILLIAMSTON – Can one save change a soccer season?
It certainly can alter a championship game, as junior Maggie Harma and Richland Gull Lake found out Saturday afternoon in Williamston.
Bloomfield Hills Marian fired 27 shots during the double-overtime MHSAA Division 2 Final. Harma, the keeper, had to save 13.
But the shot she stopped 30 seconds into the 100-minute game might’ve saved the Blue Devils’ first championship run since 1992, one they finished with a 1-0 victory over the reigning champion Mustangs.
“If it had gone in, our team would’ve been down the whole game trying to come back,” Harma said. “Because I saved it, it kinda gave us the little push we needed: We are here, we deserve to be here, we’re not here by luck. We’re here because we’re good, and we can win this.”
Gull Lake (21-1-1) was a Finals regular during the 1990s. But the current players were either still figuring out how to run or maybe even how to walk when the Blue Devils played in their most recent championship game in 1999.
Marian’s story is nearly the opposite. The Mustangs (17-3-4) have won five titles over the last 11 seasons, including three of the last five in Division 2.
Gull Lake second-year coach Jeff Corstange was plenty familiar with his program’s previous success, having graduated from the school in 1996.
“That’s one of the things when I came into this coaching role two years ago; I knew what it took to get there,” Corstange said. “These girls were young. They didn’t really know what it was. But I wanted to bring excitement back to Gull Lake.
“The whole community supported us tonight, and they get energy off of that.”
Harma admitted her team was a bit intimidated when Marian first arrived Saturday. But Corstange had emphasized to his players that they deserved to be in the Final, and the numbers said the same.
Gull Lake entered the postseason ranked No. 3, just one spot behind Marian. The Blue Devils gave up only eight goals this season – and including Saturday, not one during the MHSAA tournament.
“It starts with their keeper. She’s a really good keeper. And the four in the back are really good,” Marian coach Barry Brodsky said. “Just for whatever reason, we couldn’t get that last little inch it takes to get it into the goal. I thought we were going to get it the first 30 seconds of the game. Sometimes when you don’t get that goal you think you should, that’s the game right there.”
Gull Lake didn’t get its goal until 3:56 into the first overtime. Sophomore forward Amanda Pavletic, who had 15 goals this season although she wasn’t a starter, found the back of the net and sent the Blue Devils’ supporters into a frenzy.
Like it had in a 1-0 overtime Semifinal win over Spring Lake in the Semifinal, Gull Lake’s defense held strong over the final 16 minutes to secure the win.
“We worked really hard in the preseason, and we knew what we were capable of doing this year,” Corstange said. “All that hard work and determination ... this goes to show we can battle with anybody, being a small school. We welcome the battle. We have a lot of talent out there.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Gull Lake freshman Kenzie Harney (11) battles with a Bloomfield Hills Marian player for possession during Saturday’s Division 2 Final. (Middle) Marian sophomore Kelly Sweeney (11) pushes the ball past the outstretched foot of Gull Lake’s Olivia Sullivan. (Click to see more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)
Performance of the Week: Northville's Helena McLellan
June 2, 2023
Helena McLellan ♦ Northville
Junior ♦ Soccer
McLellan, a standout midfielder, scored twice in Northville's 3-0 win over Belleville on May 22 to clinch the overall Kensington Lakes Activities Association championship. The Mustangs earned the opportunity to play in that game by claiming the KLAA West title with an 11-0-3 record, and they're 15-0-4 heading into Saturday's Division 1 District Final against Livonia Stevenson.
An accomplished club soccer player, McLellan chose to compete for her high school team this spring for the first time and helped Northville to a No. 2 ranking at the end of the regular season after the Mustangs finished Division 1 runner-up a year ago. Belleville was ranked No. 8 in the final coaches association poll, and McLellan followed up her goals against the Tigers with another in Northville's 3-1 District Semifinal win over Farmington Hills Mercy on Wednesday.
@mhsaasports ⚽️POW: Helena McLellan #performanceoftheweek #soccer #goals #scored #northville #mustangs #conferencechampions #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok #mistudentaid #fyp ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat
Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.
MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.
May 25: Mitchel Luck, Linden lacrosse - Report
May 18: Ahava Le Febre, Holland tennis - Report
May 11: Gracie Maloney, Macomb Dakota softball - Report
May 4: Braxton Brann, Ann Arbor Huron track & field - Report
April 27: Owen Patton, Vestaburg track & field - Report
April 20: Lilly Damm, Millington softball - Report
April 13: Larissa Huffman, Mackinaw City track & field - Report
April 6: Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - Report
March 23: Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
March 16: Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9: Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2: Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23: Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16: Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9: Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2: Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26: Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19: Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20: Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16: Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9: Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2: Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24: Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17: Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10: Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3: Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27: Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20: Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13: Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6: Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30: Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22: Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15: Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8: Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1: Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25: Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report
PHOTO Northville's Helena McLellan steps into a kick during a May 9 draw with Hartland. (Photo by Chris Mudd/National Photo Scout.)