Plenty to Celebrate for Stoney Creek

June 17, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

EAST LANSING – Happy Birthday, Emily Solek. Happy first championship, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

Friday surely will be a milestone day to remember for the lone scorer in this season’s MHSAA Division 1 Final – and also for teammates who with her earned the program’s first girls soccer championship, against most expectations.

Stoney Creek entered the postseason ranked No. 10 in Division 1, the same spot it occupied in the first state coaches poll in mid-April and its highest ranking this spring. But it finished No. 1 Friday, with Solek connecting on a penalty kick with just under 11 minutes to play, giving the junior midfielder a little more to celebrate than ice cream and cake.

“Coming into this season, there were a lot of doubts about this team,” Solek said. “I think just because we had 12 seniors graduating last year, that it was just going to be a new team, new players and hard to get the vibe going.

“I think we were all up for the challenge.”

Stoney Creek’s only other MHSAA championship game appearance came in 2005, in Division 2. The Cougars exited last season in the Regional Semifinal with a shootout loss to Grand Blanc, the eventual Division 1 runner-up.

Given that that team graduated five players who earned all-state recognition, and this season’s team brought back only three seniors, it was fair to not expect much more of a run this time.

But that clearly wasn’t giving Stoney Creek (18-3-3) enough credit.

The Cougars earned their first Regional title since that last championship game run 11 years ago and got to MSU in part by downing No. 2 Utica Eisenhower, No. 4 Novi, No. 7 Utica Ford and No. 14 Troy Athens.

“We just realized that we just have to work our hardest, and then good things will come from that,” Solek said. “Our motto was kinda like, ‘Game by Game,’ and that’s how we took it.”

Stoney Creek had 12 shots Friday to Canton’s four, but only four on goal. Canton’s defense gave up only five goals over seven MHSAA postseason games.

But the Cougars kept pressuring the Chiefs on Friday. Three of those shots on goal came during the second half, and Canton senior keeper Jordan Anheuser made an especially impressive set of stops near the 24-minute mark in the second half when she punched away a crossing pass and then slid into the attack to deflect another shot and diffuse a potential rally.

Stoney Creek received the penalty shot after a long pass was launched in front of the Canton net and an attempted header toward the goal drew the foul. Solek punched her deciding kick into the lower right side of the net because “that’s where I go every time on my PKs,” she said.

“Canton did just a great job of winning the ball in the air and getting us out of the zone,” Stoney Creek coach Bryan Mittelstadt said. “We kept trying to push and push and push. (They have) a very strong back line and a very disciplined goalie. We just kept trying to get through the back line, and it was very difficult all day. “

The Chiefs’ run to East Lansing also was considered unexpected, seeing as they weren’t ranked at the end of the regular season after falling in their last two games before the start of tournament play.

But Canton (18-2-4), seeking its first MHSAA title since 2001, made its point by downing top-ranked Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 2-1 in the Semifinal.

“It’s a disappointing way to end the season, but I am so proud of my team,” Anheuser said. “To not be ranked and go this far, we were definitely the underdog, and I’m proud of everything we accomplished this season. (We’re) still going out on a good note.”

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS: (Top) Rochester Hills Stoney Creek hoists its first MHSAA championship trophy in girls soccer Friday at DeMartin Stadium. (Middle) Stoney Creek’s Isabella Langusch (18) and Canton’s Jennifer Richmond work for possession.

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.)