Performance: Anchor Bay's Ally Gaunt

May 3, 2019

Ally Gaunt
New Baltimore Anchor Bay senior - Soccer

Anchor Bay’s three-year starting goalkeeper continued to build on her substantial legacy last week, tying the school career record with her 32nd shutout against then-No. 3 ranked Utica Eisenhower to earn the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.” She became the school’s sole record holder the next game as Anchor Bay shut out Port Huron Northern 5-0 on Friday.

Gaunt tied and broke the record of 2015 graduate Emily Zweng, who went on to Oakland University, and with the 32nd shutout also earned a spot in the MHSAA record book. She’s now up to 29th all-time with 34 career shutouts and has led Anchor Bay to a combined 41-5-10 record over three seasons including 5-1-4 this spring. The Tars also have won two District titles with her guarding the net. In fact, Gaunt has never given up more than two goals in a game at the high school level – and in 13 games, she’s allowed just one – and she has a career goals-against average of 0.52.

Anchor Bay coach Kevin Grammens considers Gaunt one of the best keepers in Macomb County history, and she earned Division 1 all-state honorable mention as a sophomore and made the second team a year ago. When she’s not playing, she’s still in the game as a youth soccer referee and goalie trainer. Gaunt also played basketball as a freshman and sophomore on sub-varsity teams and carries a 3.7 grade-point average. She’s signed to continue her academic and soccer careers at Saginaw Valley State. A fan of numbers and math, she plans to major in accounting and finance and eventually become a certified public accountant. 

Coach Kevin Grammens said: “Ally is usually the first player to arrive at practice and the last to leave. She is a student of the game and true believer in the growth mindset. She soaks in the mental skills training that we teach in our program and intently trains the finer details of her position with her goalkeeper coach, Keith Jarema. She is humble and is first to acknowledge that she cannot set records on her own. We've played tremendous team defense the past three years in front of her and have had and currently have fantastic, selfless players willing to play defense to benefit the team.” 

Performance Point: It was a great week. It means a lot, but it’s not everything – to be fair, it’s just a record,” Gaunt said. “The season that we’ve had this year, it’s been a process. And to get that with this team, it means a lot. We graduated our back line – all four of them graduated last year, so we had to rebuild it. We had to start from scratch basically the first day of tryouts, and from then till now it’s grown tremendously.  We were ready for battle, and we definitely stepped up. I knew Coach Grammens had a plan, and we had to stick with it. And I trust him, and it worked out.

Success to the successor: “My sophomore and junior year (Zweng) came back for the District games and a few of the other games, and I talked to her. She gave me some pointers, and it was really beneficial just to hear it from another player that set the record here at Anchor Bay, (made the NCAA Tournament) at Oakland.”

At home in goal: “I love it back there. You can see the entire field. You can see the plays developing before they happen. Just (from) practice, you see it, what we work on, and when it shows in games it shows practice really helps. I can see in goal what we’re trying to do.”

Our time: “My communication is better than it was two years ago. My physical aspects are better than they were two years ago. Every day we’re working on both physical and mental stuff, and it’s very helpful to get something every single day that’s beneficial. Being a senior – there’s six of us, and we all want to do something great here. ‘Leave the jersey in a better place’ is our biggest motto on the team for the seniors, and I truly believe all six of us can do it and are doing it. … Coach Grammens here at Anchor Bay has helped me become the leader I am. We have a binder with a bunch of different articles on how to be mentally strong, and reading those and going through with him helping us individually to become a better person grows our leadership skills as well.”

Problem solver: “I like the structure of (math), knowing there’s not only one way to do a problem to get the correct answer. Within the team, within soccer, you have to be able to see a problem from more than one angle – if there’s two people on the team and something happens, you have to be able to see both angles to be a good leader and try to diffuse the situation. I believe math helps with that because with numbers, you can see it that way.” 

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2018-19 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard recognizes a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Past 2018-19 honorees

April 25: Kali Heivilin, Three Rivers softball - Read
March 28:
Rickea Jackson, Detroit Edison basketball - Read
March 21:
Noah Wiswary, Hudsonville Unity Christian basketball - Read
March 14:
Cam Peel, Spring Lake swimming - Read
March 7:
Jordan Hamdan, Hudson wrestling - Read
February 28:
Kevon Davenport, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Read
February 21:
Reagan Olli, Gaylord skiing - Read 
February 14:
Jake Stevenson, Traverse City Bay Reps hockey - Read
February 7: Molly Davis, Midland Dow basketball - Read
January 31:
Chris DeRocher, Alpena basketball - Read
January 24:
Imari Blond, Flint Kearsley bowling - Read
January 17: William Dunn, Quincy basketball - Read
November 29:
Dequan Finn, Detroit Martin Luther King football - Read
November 22: Paige Briggs, Lake Orion volleyball - Read
November 15:
Hunter Nowak, Morrice football - Read
November 8:
Jon Dougherty, Detroit Country Day soccer - Read
November 1:
Jordan Stump, Camden-Frontier volleyball - Read
October 25:
Danielle Staskowski, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep golf - Read
October 18:
Adam Bruce, Gladstone cross country - Read
October 11: Ericka VanderLende, Rockford cross country - Read
October 4:
Kobe Clark, Schoolcraft football - Read
September 27: Jonathan Kliewer, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern soccer - Read
September 20: Kiera Lasky, Bronson volleyball - Read
September 13: Judy Rector, Hanover-Horton cross country - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Anchor Bay goalkeeper Ally Gaunt sends a kick downfield during a game this season. (Middle) Gaunt launches another toward waiting teammates. (Photos courtesy of the Anchor Bay girls soccer program.)