Performance: Cadillac's Abby Divozzo

April 21, 2016

Abby Divozzo
Cadillac senior – Soccer

Divozzo was regarded last spring as a top goalkeeper in the northern Lower Peninsula after helping the Vikings to a Big North Conference title with 10 shutouts while giving up only 0.86 goals per game. But an incredible start this spring should put the entire state on notice. The third-year varsity starter has shutouts in all of her team’s first six games and blanked three opponents to lead Cadillac to the Holland Invitational championship Saturday and earn the Michigan National Guard Performance of the Week.

The Vikings beat Holland Black River 2-0, tied Grand Rapids Northview 0-0 and then defeated Holland 2-0, and have increased their start this season to 4-0-2. Divozzo, who has signed to continue her career at Saginaw Valley State University, wasn’t tested much against Black River, but made a key save diving into the top right corner to stop a shot from the 18-yard line and preserve the tie against Northview.

Cadillac graduated only three seniors from last season’s team that finished 14-6-1, so the start this spring hasn’t come as too much of a surprise to the senior keeper. She also was a key contributor to Cadillac’s girls ski team that placed sixth at the MHSAA Division 2 Final this winter, finishing 20th in both the slalom and giant slalom to earn all-state second-team honors in that sport. She’s a strong student sporting a 3.53 grade-point average but is undecided on what she’ll study at SVSU, although she said she enjoys math and science classes and might consider something in the medical field.  

Coach Jen VanNoord said: “I feel so fortunate to have a player like Abby as my goalkeeper. Just knowing she's in net gives me the freedom and the confidence to play a high-pressure formation. She is intense and crazy and calm all at the same time. Abby has the ability to elevate her game when matches are tight … the tougher the match the better she plays. She's also my player that can make a stressed out teammate laugh and relax with her silly sense of humor. Abby is a powerful role model to the young players and a leader in our soccer community. Her confidence and continued growth as a goalkeeper have made an exceptional impact on me over the last three seasons."

Performance Point: “We have a lot of returning players, and we’ve all been playing with each other since we were 8-year-olds. We know how each other plays, know how to work together to keep other teams from scoring.”

Net minder: (I’m strong at) communication, making sure everyone knows what’s going on. I can see the whole field; they might not be able to see the whole thing. … I like that (keeper) is so different from any other position, and so important also. Most people think you’re the goalie, you just stand there. ... When you make a save, and everyone cheers, that’s pretty cool."

Refuse to lose: “I hate losing. I’m going to do anything to make sure that we don’t lose. Making sure people are dropping (into formation), making sure people aren’t left open, just making sure we don’t get scored on. In practice, I’m known as the silly one. But when it’s game time, a little switch goes on, and I’m serious.”

Goalkeeper’s goal: “I want to win a District. Our school hasn’t won a District in girls soccer ever, so obviously that’s the main goal. That would be pretty crazy, just my senior year to finally have that little extra part.”

SVSU, here I come: “The campus is awesome, the staff is awesome. I don’t really know what I want to do, and they’ve got any field of study that I’d want, so it’s a win-win – I get to play soccer and figure out what I want to do at the same place.”

– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2015-16 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize 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 protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2015-16 honorees
March 30: Cassius Winston, Detroit U-D Jesuit boys basketball - Read
March 23: Kierra Fletcher, Warren Cousino girls basketball - Read
March 16: Jacob Montague, Grosse Pointe South swimming & diving - Read
March 9: Kyle Tuttle, St. Charles boys bowling - Read
March 2: Brittney Schnicke, Caledonia girls bowling - Read
Feb. 24: Kamari Newman, Detroit East English boys basketball - Read
Feb. 17: Jason Whitens, Powers North Central boys basketball - Read 
Feb. 10: Rachel Hogan, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Read
Feb. 3: Nehemiah Mork, Midland Dow swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 27: Mardrekia Cook, Muskegon girls basketball - Read
Jan. 20: Sage Castillo, Hartland wrestling - Read
Jan. 13: Rob Zofchak, Dexter swimming & diving - Read
Jan. 6: Tyler Deming, Caro wrestling – Read
Dec. 15: Jordan Weber, East Jordan boys basketball – Read
Dec. 8: Kaitlyn Geers, Kent City girls basketball – Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Abby Divozzo (11) surveys the field during Cadillac's game Saturday against Grand Rapids Northview. (Middle) Divozzo launches the ball downfield. (Photos courtesy of Cadillac girls soccer program.)

Performance of the Week: Northville's Helena McLellan

June 2, 2023

Helena McLellanHelena 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

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2022-23 Honorees

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.)