Adams soccer falls in regional final

By: Timothy Pontzer | Rochester Post | Published June 12, 2018

 Rochester Adams junior Elise Delikat lines up a kick during a Division 1 regional semifinal against Waterford Mott June 5. The Highlanders won the contest 2-1, but fell the following game to Grand Blanc High.

Rochester Adams junior Elise Delikat lines up a kick during a Division 1 regional semifinal against Waterford Mott June 5. The Highlanders won the contest 2-1, but fell the following game to Grand Blanc High.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

ROCHESTER HILLS — Josh Hickey is thrilled with the results of his first year in a very familiar place.

A mainstay in the Rochester Adams soccer program, Hickey has coached the boys varsity side for a decade and guided the girls JV team for the same span.

This season saw Hickey pull double duty as he took over the girls varsity program. The Highlanders finished at 20-5-4 overall before ending the campaign with a 3-0 loss to Grand Blanc High in a Division 1 regional final June 7 at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

“(Grand Blanc) has a very good team; my prediction is they win the (state) title,” Hickey said. “You have to have your very best game against them. We didn’t quite have that today, but there’s nothing to hang our heads about.”

Hickey checked off his club’s accomplishments.

“This season was amazing. We had 20 wins, and I honestly can’t remember the last time that’s been done here with the boys or girls,” Hickey remarked. “In fact, I’m not sure if it’s ever been done. We were (Oakland Activities Association) Red (Division) champs for the second year in a row and won our district. We were able to play our crosstown rivals very well. We accomplished quite a bit, and I’m very proud of them.”

On the opposing sideline, Grand Blanc coach Greg Kehler pointed to that Red championship as something his group took notice of heading into the regional.

“Josh does a great job. The OAA Red is a very, very tough conference, so for them to win that says a lot about his team,” Kehler said. “We knew they’d be tough and never give up. After we were up 2-0, they were throwing everything forward and really attacking. They stepped up with a lot of numbers and bothered us quite a bit. They did a good job of responding, and all the credit goes to him.”

The district win marked a second banner in three years as the Highlanders also won in 2016. Many of Hickey’s current crop of seniors were key contributors on that team or call-ups from his JV team at the time.

“These seniors did so much for us. I couldn’t have asked for a better class for my first year, with the varsity,” Hickey said. “They’re amazing kids and really great leaders for this team. They really set the tone and wanted to accomplish something. The final eight is a huge accomplishment for us.”

Hickey also pointed to a freshman netminder as a large reason for a successful 2018. Goalie Maddie Dolenga recorded 11 shutouts on the year.

“(Dolenga) had a very good year, and the tournament was all on her,” Hickey said. “She has a ton of upside, and she definitely showed it. It will be great to have her back. I really couldn’t be more happy about this first season. Every single player did everything we asked them to do.”