After missing out on the 2020 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, girls’ soccer teams around the state were back on the pitch this spring.
Although there were some adjustments, the season started and ended on time. Overall, this spring marked the first sports season since fall 2019 that was played without any more delays or interruptions.
Grosse Ile captured its eighth consecutive Huron League championship in 2021 and claimed a ninth consecutive district title. In the playoffs, the Red Devils dominated Flat Rock in the district final and were edged 2-1 by perennial power Country Day in the regional semis. The team finished with an overall record of 15-3 and with a league record of 11-1.
Woodhaven earned its second consecutive Downriver League title this season. The Warriors (10-3-4, 7-0-2 DRL) cruised past Monroe in the first round of the playoffs and took down Taylor in the second round. A district championship match against Belleville ended in a loss in overtime.
Also in the DRL, Gibraltar Carlson had a strong regular season and then went on to win the program’s first-ever district title. The Marauders (12-4-3, 5-2-3 DRL) topped Carleton Airport in overtime to kick off the playoffs and then edged Trenton 1-0 in the semis. In the district final, the Marauders took down New Boston Huron 2-1 in a game that went to an overtime shootout. Carlson’s impressive run ended with a loss to a tough Divine Child team in the regional semis.
It was also another strong year for Trenton, as a young Trojans (7-3-7, 5-0-6 DRL) squad allowed only five goals in league play and had 10 total shutouts. Trenton rolled past Allen Park in the district semis before falling to Carlson in the finals.
Taylor High came on strong after a slow start and finished with a winning record. The Griffins (10-6, 6-5 DRL) rolled past Wayne Memorial in the district semis before running into Woodhaven in the finals.
Allen Park saw limited action this spring due to a COVID-19 issue but finished with an overall record of 5-3.
Wyandotte Roosevelt went through some ups and downs but won three of its last five games. The Bears (6-10, 4-9 DRL) topped Lincoln Park in the district semis and fell to Belleville in the finals.
Southgate Anderson was next in the DRL standings and Lincoln Park (0-11, 0-10 DRL) rounded things out. The Titans (3-9, 2-7 DRL) saw their season end with a loss to Riverview in the first round of the playoffs.
Back in the Huron League, Huron finished runner up to Grosse Ile in the standings. The Chiefs (10-3-4, 8-2-2 Huron League) topped fellow league member Riverview in the district semis before falling to Carlson in title match.
Riverview (10-6-1, 7-4-1 Huron League) placed fourth in the league while Flat Rock was seventh. The Rams (2-13, 1-12 Huron League) shut out Romulus Summit Academy in the first round of the playoffs and then fell to Grosse Ile in the district finals.
In the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist shared the Blue Division title with Plymouth Christian. The Chargers (9-3, 5-1 MIAC Blue) shut out Allen Park Cabrini in the district semis and blanked Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett for the title. They went on to beat Plymouth Christian in the regional semis and fell to eventual state finalist Royal Oak Shrine in the title game.
In the Catholic League, it was a strong year for Cabrini (11-5-1, 7-3-1 CHSL Intersectional II), despite the first-round playoff loss to Inter-City.
Riverview Gabriel Richard went through an up-and-down year. The Pioneers (3-6-3, 3-3-3 CHSL Intersectional II) wrapped up 2021 with a loss to Liggett in the district semis.
In the Charter School Conference, Summit also went through some up and downs. The Dragons (5-8, 3-7 CSC) topped Taylor Prep (5-6) in the first round of the postseason before losing to Flat Rock in the semis.
Meet the All-News-Herald First-Team
Araya Shulaw, Carlson: A huge year in goal from Shulaw helped guide Carlson to 12 victories and the program’s first-ever district championship. The junior and D2 Second-Team All-State honoree stopped 52 of the 69 shots she faced and finished with a GAA of 1.07. She had a total of eight shutouts during the year, including one against Trenton.
Gibraltar Carlson junior goaltender Araya Shulaw dives for a ball during the 2021 regional semifinals at Trenton. Shulaw earned second-team all-state honors in a year where she had a GAA of 1.07 and eight shutouts and helped guide the Marauders to their first-ever district title.
Veronica King, Grosse Ile: King earned a D3 All-State Honorable Mention in a season where Grosse Ile was once again one of the state’s top teams. The junior saw time in goal and at forward this spring. She finished with a 0.68 GAA and earned five shutouts along the way. Offensively, she finished second on the team in goals (13) and had seven assists.
Parker Cheney, Woodhaven: Cheney helped guide Woodhaven to 10 victories and a league title in what was her junior year on the pitch. The forward and D1 All-State Honorable Mention scored 20 goals for the Warriors and she picked up 10 assists along the way.
Kasidy Cooper, Carlson: Cooper, a junior defender, earned a D2 All-State Honorable Mention this spring. “She is a calm and steady center back for our team and as a center back realizes that accolades don’t come easy to anyone in the defense,” said Marauders coach Steve Briggs. “She works as hard as anyone on our team and (does) not back down from any opponent that comes up against her.” Offensively, she netted one goal and had three assists.
Bethany Estell, Inter-City: Estell shined in goal for Inter-City this spring and picked up a second-team all-state honors in D4. The junior allowed only six goals in the regular season and she had five total shutouts.
Cecily Hughes, Huron: Hughes, a junior midfielder, picked up D2 Third-Team All-State honors for the 2021 season. She scored six goals and was credited with five assists along the way. “Cecily controlled the tempo of the game for us in the middle of the field,” said Chiefs coach Dan Rossow. “She was our strongest and most dynamic player. Although she did not tally many points, she led our attack and was always the focal point of the other teams.”
Cecelia Cuevas, Carlson: Cuevas, a senior, earned D2 Third-Team All-State honors this season. The senior midfielder finished with five goals and five assists. “Cece’s contribution to the team goes way beyond her stats on a sheet,” said Carlson coach Steve Briggs. “She has a way with dribbling and controlling the ball that we joke that it stuck on her foot with glue. We will miss her effortless control in our midfield.”
Sydney Anderson, Trenton: Anderson shined for Trenton in what was her final season of high school soccer. The senior defender and D2 All-State honorable mention helped lead the Trojans to eight shutouts. Offensively, she tied for second on the team in goals (9) and tied for first in assists (6).
Emma Hamilton, Inter-City: A big year for Hamilton earned her D4 Second-Team All-State honors. The junior forward and MIAC Blue MVP scored 17 goals this spring and she had 12 assists.
Junior Emma Hamilton of Allen Park Inter-City Baptist controls the ball during a 2021 home game against Grosse Ile. She earned second-team all-state honors and was the MIAC Blue MVP in a year where she scored 17 goals and had 12 assists.
Paige Beaudry, Riverview: Beaudry closed out her impressive high school athletic career with a big season of soccer. The senior forward and D2 All-State Honorable Mention finished with 23 goals and five assists. She has signed on to play at Spring Arbor University.
Hailey Dunham, Inter-City: Dunham capped off her high school soccer career with a big season at Inter-City. The senior midfielder and D4 All-State Honorable Mention scored 14 goals this spring and she picked up 11 assists.
Emmi Pinkowski, Grosse Ile: Pinkowski was dominant on both ends of the pitch and she was a leader in what was her final season at Grosse Ile. The senior midfielder and first-team all-league honoree scored 11 goals and she was tops for the Red Devils in assists (11). Two of her goals came against in a matchup with Milan that clinched the Huron League title and one came on a 45-yard free kick against Country Day in the regional semis.
Lainie Carnicom, Woodhaven: Carnicom was described as the “heart and soul of our team” by Woodhaven coach Scott Hoye. The senior midfielder scored 11 goals for the Warriors this spring and she picked up nine assists.
Alyssa Naso, Grosse Ile: Naso was a big reason why Grosse Ile allowed only seven goals in the 2021 season. The junior defender and first-team all-league honoree helped shut opposing teams down in a year where the Red Devils won 15 games and captured league and district championships. “She has a ton of speed, and her work ethic is unmatched,” said Grosse Ile coach Kyle Lesperance.
Bella Elliott, Huron: Elliott, a senior defender, earned first-team all-league honors this spring. She was described as a “shutdown defender” by Huron coach Dan Rossow and she was always tasked with playing on the opponent’s strong side. Offensively, she finished with six goals and five assists.
Alyssa Williamson, Taylor: Only a sophomore, Williamson gave Taylor a lot to look forward to over the next two years. The all-district honoree scored 21 goals for the Griffins and helped guide the team to a winning record. She was versatile enough to play multiple different positions.
Ava Pascuzzi, Grosse Ile: Pascuzzi finished up her prep soccer career with an outstanding season. The senior midfielder and first-team all-league honoree led Grosse Ile in goals (14) and she had seven assists. She also helped to shut down opposing teams in a year where the squad allowed only seven total goals.
Mallory Emeigh, Allen Park: Emeigh capped off her high school soccer career with a solid season at Allen Park. The senior midfielder scored eight goals and she earned 17 assists.
Abigail Crispell, Woodhaven: Crispell served as a leader for Woodhaven this spring and helped guide the team to a league championship. The senior midfielder scored 10 goals for the Warriors and she earned six assists. She has signed on to continue her soccer career at Central Methodist University.
Amelia Strochine, Huron: Strochine, a junior, shined in goal for Huron this spring and was a leader for the team. The first-team all-league honoree had nine shutouts in 2021 allowed only nine total goals in 17 games. Overall, she has already set the school record for career shutouts (18).
Adriana Cox, Trenton: Cox finished up her high school athletic career with a strong season at Trenton. The senior defender helped guide the Trojans to eight shutouts this spring. Offensively, she contributed one goal and picked up seven assists.
Riley Dominski, Riverview: Dominski was a dominant force for Riverview in what was her junior season. The forward and first-team all-league honoree scored 16 goals in 2021 and she picked up seven assists.
Bella Norscia, Cabrini: Norscia helped guide Cabrini to a winning season in what was her final year with the team. The senior and All-Catholic honoree was listed as a defender and a forward on the Monarchs’ roster.
Marchella Sanchez, Taylor: In just her sophomore season, Sanchez was a major scoring threat for Taylor. The midfielder scored 19 goals, which helped guide the Griffins to a winning season.
Isabelle Maldonado, Allen Park: Maldonado, a freshman, gave Allen Park a lot to look forward to over the next three years. She scored 17 goals for the Jaguars this spring and finished with 10 assists.
Freshman Isabelle Maldonado of Allen Park gets ready to kick the ball during a 2021 home game against Trenton. She scored 17 goals and finished with 10 assists.
Olivia Harder, Roosevelt: Harder, a senior, served as a leader for Roosevelt during her entire four-year career. As a defender she helped shut down opposing teams and she had the ability to score off set pieces or while attacking from the backline.
Natalie Beltran, Anderson: Beltran saw time at goalkeeper and at forward this spring. The senior scored 12 goals, two of which were game winners, and she had three assists. In goal she earned two shutouts during the 2021 campaign. She has signed on to play at University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Olivia Magiera, Richard: Magiera capped off her high school soccer career with a strong season at Richard. The senior midfielder was a leader for the Pioneers and helped guide the team through an up-and-down season.
Mekayla Kryk, Flat Rock: Kryk was described as the “heart of the team” by Flat Rock coach Sammi Murphy. The senior midfielder earned first-team all-league honors for the 2021 season. She netted one goal along the way.
Allison Bollinger, Cabrini: Bollinger picked up All-Catholic honors in what was her senior year at Cabrini. She was listed as a defender and a forward on the Monarchs’ roster and helped lead the team to a record of 11-5-1 this spring.
Mariela Martinez, Lincoln Park: Martinez served as leader for Lincoln Park this spring and helped guide the team through a rebuilding season. The senior defender never left the field and she earned Team MVP honors.
Hayley Martin, Taylor Prep: Martin was dominant for Taylor Prep in what was her senior year. She set a new school record for goals in a season (31) and picked up 15 assists along the way. She will continue her soccer career at Olivet College.