Preview: Ramping Up for Rematches

June 14, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

This weekend will feature a first-time scenario in MHSAA girls soccer, and one certainly rare in any sport at any level:

The Division 2, 3 and 4 championships games Friday or Saturday at Williamston High School will be rematches of the same Finals from 2017. Grand Blanc is back in Division 1 and has a rematch ahead as well – against Novi, which followed the Bobcats in league play earlier this spring.

Following is this weekend’s schedule:

Division 1 - Friday - 4 p.m.
Grand Blanc vs. Novi

Division 2 - Saturday - 4 p.m.
Bloomfield Hills Marian vs. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern

Division 3 - Saturday - 1 p.m.
Flint Powers Catholic vs. Freeland

Division 4 - Friday - 1 p.m.
Kalamazoo Christian vs. Lansing Christian

Tickets cost $8. Radio broadcasts of all games can be heard online at All games will be streamed live online at MHSAA.TV and viewable on subscription basis.

All statistics below are through Regionals. (Click for links to brackets and scores.)

Division 1

 27-1, No. 4
Coach: Greg Kehler, 20th season (326-88-57)
League finish: Second in Kensington Lakes Activities Association Gold
Championship history: Three runner-up finishes (most recent 2017).  
Players to watch: Paige Webber, jr. F (33 goals, 15 assists); Faith Webber, soph. F (25 goals, 17 assists); Madison McKay, jr. GK (0.38 goals-against average, 18 shutouts); Ashton Cassell, sr. M (15 goals, 8 assists).
Outlook: Grand Blanc will play in its second championship game in three seasons, its only defeat this spring coming early to No. 2 Brighton. The Bobcats have yet to give up a postseason goal after six games including wins over No. 8 Midland and No. 18 Rochester Adams. Cassell and Paige Webber have been named to the all-state first team, Faith Webber made the second, McKay, senior mid Morgan Metzger (8 goals/15 assists) and junior mid Allyson Childers (2/8) made the third and senior defenders Morgan Jewell and Lara Wheeler earned honorable mentions. Sophomore forward Jenna Blackburn added another 16 goals and 10 assists heading into the week.

 18-5-1, No. 6
Coach: Todd Pheiffer, fourth season (56-17-4)
League finish: Third in KLAA Gold
Championship history: Five MHSAA titles (most recent 2011). 
Players to watch: Avery Fenchel, soph. F (20 goals, 9 assists); Jessie Bandyk, jr. M (12 goals/10 assists); Callie Rich, sr. GK (0.98 GAA, 11 shutouts); Emmie Takada, sr. M (4 goals, 1 assist).
Outlook: After finishing third in the same league as Grand Blanc, Novi went on to win its second Regional in three seasons. The Wildcats eliminated No. 14 Northville, No. 15 Saline and No. 20 Canton on the way to this championship game. Bandyk, Fenchel and Rich all have been named to the all-state first team, while Takada, junior defender Lauren Calhoun and freshman defender Eva Burns earned honorable mentions. Junior forward Julia Stadtherr is another valuable scorer, tallying 14 goals heading into this week.

Division 2

 21-0-1, No. 1
Coach: Barry Brodsky, 17
th season (317-26-36)
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic League Central.
Championship history: Six MHSAA titles (most recent 2017), three runner-up finishes. 
Players to watch: Jansen Eichenlaub, jr. F (31 goals, 10 assists); Annie Bruce, sr. M (15 goals, 8 assists); Claudia Schilling, sr. M (9 goals, 21 assists); Sara Stroud, jr. M (3 goals, 11 assists).
Outlook: Marian earned its first championship since 2012 last season to move into third alone for most titles in MHSAA girls soccer history. The Mustangs have given up only nine goals and just one over six postseason games while facing No. 4 DeWitt and No. 9 Trenton among others. Bruce, Eichenlaub and Schilling have been named to the all-state first team, while Stroud made the second, junior defender Neve Badalow the third and sophomore forward Chloe Aberlarde (14 goals, 10 assists) and senior defender Emme DeConinck earned honorable mentions. Freshman Maria Askounis added 10 goals and nine assists entering the week.

 19-5, No. 3
Coach: Daniel Siminski, fifth season (87-16-10)
League finish: Second in Ottawa-Kent Conference White.
Championship history: Three runner-up finishes (most recent 2017). 
Players to watch: Elyse DeSchryver, soph. M/F (17 goals, 3 assists); Addie Brown, soph. M (13 goals, 19 assists); Credence White, sr. M (9 goals, 2 assists); Sophia Terzes, sr. M (4 goals, 5 assists).
Outlook: Forest Hills Northern is aiming for its first championship after finishing runner-up the last two years, and with a few of last season’s standouts setting the pace again. Brown led the team in goals in 2017 and has been named to the all-state second team this season, while DeSchryver made the third team. Terzes also is a past all-stater. After winning the Regional Final in a shootout against Spring Lake, FHN downed No. 2 Richland Gull Lake in overtime in the Semifinal. The Rangers also eliminated No. 7 Lowell, No. 8 Ada Forest Hills Eastern and No. 18 Middleville Thornapple Kellogg during this run.

Division 3

Record/rank: 22-1-3, No. 1
Coach: Art Moody, 11
th season (207-41-20)
League finish: First in Saginaw Valley League.
Championship history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 2017), six runner-up finishes. 
Players to watch: Sophie Bubnar, sr. F (23 goals, 31 assists); Rachel Rasins, jr. F (35 goals, 16 assists), Madeline Cardinal, sr. M (11 goals, 20 assists); Natalie Deitering, soph. GK (0.79 GAA, 15 shutouts).
Outlook: Powers will play in its third straight championship game after winning its first title last season since 2011. The Chargers have 19 shutouts and haven’t given up a goal during the postseason while averaging more than six goals per playoff game. They’ve defeated No. 6 Warren Regina, No. 9 Montrose, No. 10 Birch Run and No. 11 Williamston along the way. Bubnar, Cardinal and Raisins made the all-state first team, while Deitering and freshman defender Kate Cardinal made the second team, junior midfielder Camryn Murlick (7 goals, 7 assists) made the third and junior Dominique Amato (17 goals, 12 assists) earned an honorable mention. Junior forward Kennedy Myers added 13 goals and 10 assists heading into the week; she and Amato are high-scoring subs.

 22-4, No. 18
Coach: Lauren Kemerer, fifth season (103-12-4)
League finish: First in Tri-Valley Conference Central.
Championship history: Division 3 runner-up 2017. 
Players to watch: Mackenzie Stroebel, sr. F (30 goals, 10 assists); Autumn Kloha, jr. F (26 goals, 13 assists); Kayler Radaz, sr. M (11 goals, 7 assists); Erin Tyson, jr. M (15 goals, 14 assists).
Outlook: Freeland cruised through most of its first five postseason games without giving up a goal, then allowed one in upsetting No. 4 Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the Semifinal. A number of this season’s top contributors helped the Falcons to their first MHSAA championship game a year ago. Kloha and Stroebel have been named all-state first team, while Radaz and Tyson earned honorable mentions. Junior Madeline Boyes (16 goals, 3 assists) fills out a group of talented forwards, while junior Emerson Lynch (11 goals, 10 assists) comes off the bench to supply the midfield.

Division 4

 18-2-5, No. 3
Coach: Jay Allen, fourth season (91-15-11)
League finish: Tied for first in Southwestern Athletic Conference
Championship history: Four MHSAA titles (most recent 2008), Division 4 runner-up 2017.
Players to watch: Kayla Beebe, jr. F; Lauryn Mohney, soph. M; Elise VanSparrentak, jr. D; Emma Bertrand, jr. M. (Statistics not submitted). 
Outlook: Kalamazoo Christian returned to the championship round last season for the first time since winning Division 4 in 2008, and Beebe is back after also helping that team to the season’s final day. She made the all-state first team this spring, while Mohney made the second, VanSparrentak the third and Bertrand and sophomore keeper Jenna Blackwell earned honorable mentions. Kalamazoo Christian was one of the few to score this season on top-ranked North Muskegon, going on to win a Semifinal shootout to advance, and the Comets also beat No. 6 Kalamazoo Hackett during this tournament run.

 18-3-2, No. 2
Coach: Joel Vande Kopple, 12
th season (189-49-15)
League finish: First in Greater Lansing Activities Conference.
Championship history: Division 4 champion 2017, two runner-up finishes.  
Players to watch: Kasey Jamieson, jr. F (53 goals, 18 assists); Jenna Li, sr. M (17 goals, 21 assists); Kealeigh Usiak, jr. D (3 goals, 1 assist); Lynn Cullens, sr. GK (0.73 GAA, 15 shutouts).
Outlook: The Pilgrims broke through for their first championship last season and have made at least the Semifinals five straight seasons. Jamieson will finish among the leading scorers in MHSAA history and made the all-state first team with Li and Cullens. Usiak made the second team, and junior midfielder Eliza Lewis earned an honorable mention. Lansing Christian shut out No. 7 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in a Semifinal, its fifth shutout in five tournament games while also defeating No. 5 Manchester and No. 18 Dansville among others.

PHOTO: Lansing Christian’s Kasey Jamieson (11) moves the ball upfield during last season’s Division 4 Final against Kalamazoo Christian.

Preview: Championship Rematch Among Headliners at DeMartin Stadium

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

June 13, 2024

The return of two reigning champions and a rematch of last year’s Division 3 title match are just the start of headlines emerging from this weekend’s MHSAA Girls Soccer Finals at DeMartin Stadium.

There should be some familiarity this weekend for most contenders as six of the final eight teams have reached the season’s final weekend at least once since 2021 – including Hudsonville Unity Christian and Grosse Ile, which played to a 3-0 Crusaders win a year ago, and Kalamazoo Christian which is seeking a repeat as well.

Three teams are seeking a first championship, and a fourth its first this century.

Following is this weekend’s schedule:

Division 1 - Friday - 4 p.m.
Hartland vs. Rochester Adams

Division 2 - Saturday - 4 p.m.
Spring Lake vs. Bloomfield Hills Marian

Division 3 - Saturday - 1 p.m.
Hudsonville Unity Christian vs. Grosse Ile

Division 4 - Friday - 1 p.m.
Kalamazoo Christian vs. Jackson Lumen Christi

Tickets cost $11 and may be purchased online only at GoFan. One ticket is good for all soccer, softball and baseball games at MSU’s Old College Field that day. All four Finals will be broadcast and available with subscription from, with free audio broadcasts on the MHSAA Network.

Below is a glance at all eight teams taking the field, with statistics through Regionals:

Division 1

Record/rank: 16-3-3, No. 11
League finish: First in Kensington Lakes Activities Association West
 Andrew Kartsounes, 19th season (230-91-52)
Championship history: Division 1 champion 2021.
Players to watch:
 Alyse Daavettila, sr. F/M (12 goals, 6 assists); Addie Frantti, jr. F/M (9 goals, 8 assists); Paige Sundman, soph. F (10 goals, 3 assists); Jenna Brock, jr. GK (0.95 goals-against average, 9 shutouts).
Outlook: Hartland suffered one of its lone losses this spring to Livonia Stevenson in the regular-season finale, but bounced right back to win a third District and second Regional championship in four seasons. The only other defeats came in the season opener to Salem and in late April to No. 10 Midland Dow, and the Eagles earned a win and draw with No. 9 Canton in league play. Daavettila made the all-state third team last season. Midfielder Emma Kastamo is another of four senior starters and had five goals and seven assists entering the week.

Record/rank: 15-2-2, No. 6
League finish: Second in Oakland Activities Association Red
Coach: Josh Hickey, seventh season (77-29-16)
Championship history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 1999), two runner-up finishes.
Players to watch:
 Lexi Calcamuggio, soph. GK (0.70 goals-against average, 7 shutouts); Evelyn Kekhoua, sr. F (12 goals, 4 assists); Danielle Danko, sr. M (10 goals, 6 assists); Sadie Rogers, jr. M (11 goals, 8 assists).
Outlook: After reaching its first Semifinal since 2012, Adams is headed to the Finals for the first time since its most recent championship season of 1999. An overtime win over No. 3 Troy in their Regional Final has highlighted this run, with Troy having handed the Highlanders their first loss in early April. The other defeat came against No. 9 Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, and Adams rebounded quickly and picked up late regular-season wins over Dow (5-0) and No. 12 Troy Athens (4-1). Rogers earned an all-state honorable mention last season.

Division 2

Record/rank: 15-3-3, No. 8
League finish: First in Catholic High School League Central
Coach: Danny Price, first season (15-3-3)
Championship history: 10 MHSAA titles (most recent 2021), three runner-up finishes.
Players to watch:
 Dani Mertz, sr. GK (0.53 goals-against average, 14 shutouts); Nia Bordogna, fr. M (5 goals, 10 assists); Olivia Zahnow, sr. D; Clair Dauer, soph. M (15 goals, 2 assists).
Outlook: Marian missed the Finals last season for the first time since 2016 (not counting COVID-canceled 2020), but have returned under Price, who played professionally in England and also has coached Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice’s boys team since 2019. He inherited plenty of talent; Dauer made the all-state second team last season, Zahnow made the third team, and Mertz, junior defender Nadia Valka, sophomore defender/forward Lily Robinson and junior forward Bella Musachio all earned honorable mentions. The second-leading scorer is sophomore forward Giulianna Agrusso (10 goals, 3 assists) and three more players were next with five goals apiece entering this week. The Mustangs have not allowed a goal over six postseason games, a run that included avenging their most recent loss, to Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood. The other defeats came to Okemos and No. 11 Mason.

Record/rank: 16-2-5, No. 1
League finish: Second in Ottawa-Kent Conference Blue
Coach: Becky May, eighth season (118-17-13)
Championship history: Division 2 runner-up 2021.
Players to watch:
 Jessica Stewart, sr. GK (0.76 goals-against average, 10 shutouts); Ella Andree, sr. F (12 goals, 6 assists); Clara Saunders, sr. M (10 goals, 16 assists); Aveya Patino, fr. F (27 goals, 7 assists).
Outlook: Spring Lake earned this return to the Finals for the second time in four seasons in part by defeating No. 7 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central and No. 3 Midland in its Regional, and its only losses were to Division 3 top-ranked Hudsonville Unity Christian and No. 4 Grand Rapids South Christian. The Lakers then came back to earn a draw with Unity in the league tournament championship game. Saunders made the all-state first team last season, Andree and Stewart made the second team and senior defender Brooke Bolthouse earned an honorable mention.

Division 3

Record/rank: 17-2-5, No. 5
League finish: Second in Huron League
Coach: Kyle Lesperance, sixth season (80-17-14)
Championship history: Division 3 runner-up 2023.
Players to watch:
 Addison Nemeth, sr. D; Cassidy Eblin, sr. M (8 goals, 18 assists); Alaina Korody, jr. D (8 goals, 4 assists); Mallory Botten, jr. F (20 goals, 21 assists).
Outlook: After several successful seasons, Grosse Ile broke through last year to make the Finals for the first time – and will now play for a first championship again in a rematch of last season’s title game. The Red Devils defeated No. 12 Detroit Country Day to advance, and their only losses were to Division 1 No. 4 Saline and Division 2 No. 10 New Boston Huron. Korody and Eblin made the all-state third team last season, and Nemeth earned honorable mention. Junior Monica Arndt is giving up only 1.06 goals per game in net, with 11 shutouts heading into the week.

Record/rank: 21-1-1, No. 1
League finish: First in O-K Blue
Coach: Randy Heethuis, 35th season (641-105-42)
Championship history: 11 MHSAA titles (most recent 2023), four runner-up finishes.
Players to watch:
 Vivian Nagelkirk, sr. F/M (22 goals, 8 assists); Ava Lutke, jr. F (18 goals, 15 assists); Anna Newhof, sr. GK (0.50 goals-against average, 9 shutouts); Kyle Kobrzycki, fr. F/M (13 goals, 9 assists).
Outlook: Unity just keeps rolling, with this weekend providing an opportunity to repeat as a champion for the first time since winning three straight Division 3 titles from 2014-16. Lutke made the all-state first team last season, but the Crusaders replaced seven graduates who also earned all-state honors and this spring still lost only to Division 1 No. 1 Hudsonville (and by just a goal). In addition to those listed above, five more players entered this week with at least six goals or five assists, or both. They have yet to allow a goal in the playoffs with wins over No. 4 Grand Rapids South Christian, No. 10 Grand Rapids West Catholic and No. 14 Freeland highlighting the run.

Division 4

Record/rank: 13-7, unranked
League finish: Eighth in CHSL AA
Coach: Blake Newman-Gillig, fourth season (42-31-4)
Championship history: Division 4 runner-up 2000.
Players to watch:
 Codi Ruge, soph. F (16 goals, 4 assists); Paityn Petitto, jr. F (9 goals, 9 assists); Izzy Ermatinger, sr. GK (1.80 goals-against average, 7 shutouts); Kathleen Doane, jr. D (6 goals, 2 assists).
Outlook: Lumen Christi went from unranked to Regional champion for the first time since 2007, and has taken another step as well allowing only one goal over six postseason games including wins over No. 5 Manchester, No. 8 Auburn Hills Oakland Christian and a Regional Final victory over Royal Oak Shrine Catholic that avenged a 5-0 regular-season defeat. Doane made the all-state second team last season, and Ruge earned an honorable mention. Senior forward Brooke Lefere had added eight goals heading into this week.

Record/rank: 18-4-2, No. 6
League finish: Tied for first in Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley
Coach: Jay Allen, 11th season (181-35-8)
Championship history: Five MHSAA titles (most recent 2023), four runner-up finishes.
Players to watch:
 Emily Gorton, soph. (11 goals, 5 assists); Izzy Suloff, soph. (16 goals, 4 assists); Jordyn Bonnema, jr. (12 goals, 4 assists); Elizabeth Netz, sr. GK (12 shutouts).

Outlook: After four runner-up finishes over a five-season span heading into last year’s Final, Kalamazoo Christian won its first championship since 2008 and now will seek what would be a third repeat in program history. This run has been highlighted by wins over No. 7 Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian and No. 10 Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep – and shared the SAC Valley title after drawing with the latter during the regular season. The Comets also own a 2-1 win over Jackson Lumen Christi from May 2.

PHOTO Unity Christian’s Vivian Nagelkirk (3) and Grosse Ile’s Olivia Zuccaro contend for the ball during last season’s Division 3 Final.