ClawsonMay 25, 2012
Clawson girls soccer wins another MAC Gold title
By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer
If the Clawson Trojans girls soccer team didn’t make it clear before, it certainly has now.
The road to the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division goes through Clawson.
The Trojans have earned that kind of respect after winning a league championship for the second consecutive season.
In the world of high school sports, staying on top can be more difficult than getting there. And when you consider that Clawson coach Jared Kullman believes the Trojans graduated seven or eight players from last season’s team, they’re championship repeat becomes all the more impressive.
According to Kullman, his team didn’t skip a beat.
“We graduated a large number of seniors last year,” he said. “Last year, we had some strengths. We lost some of those strengths over the offseason. Coming into this year, there was a little concern from the team that we were going to be missing that leadership and possibly take a step back. But I think the girls picked up right where they left off. Our four seniors have done a fantastic job.
“What we’ve seen this year is we’re not weak in any spot in particular. We got everybody doing their part, and when we all work together, we end up having a lot of success. We were looking for a repeat. We’re real happy with the way things have turned out so far this year.”
Sam Airriess, Ashley Tarr, Emily Hirt and Taylor Kaufman are the seniors.
Championships can be a nice parting gift, and you can count Airriess as one who is excited to end her career with Clawson with at least one more championship in tow.
“It was great,” she said. “We lost so many seniors, and winning back-to-back league championships is great — especially senior year.”
Kaufman echoed the sentiments of her teammate.
“It’s really impressive that we pulled it off this year,” she said. “It’s always been a goal for us to win our championship; it’s kind of been an expectation as well as a goal.”
With two league titles in as many years to their credit, the next big item on the Trojans’ to-do list is to try to make some noise in postseason play. At press time, Clawson was set to meet Birmingham-Detroit Country Day in an opening-round district tournament game at 7 p.m. May 29 at Country Day, after press time.
Clawson has not won a district championship since 2006, and Kullman is hoping his squad can change that.
“Every year, we go into the playoffs with high expectations,” he said. “We see some tough competition in our districts. We’ve got two of the top teams in the state in our district every year — Country Day and Notre Dame Prep. We go into that district with the expectation that if we do our jobs and play hard, that we’re in it and we got a shot. We want to win a district and then move on from there.”
Regardless of how the season plays out, another league title should only help to continue to raise the bar for girls soccer at Clawson. And while the present is already looking pretty good, Kullman also likes the potential that the future may hold for the program.
“We’re real happy with our underclassmen,” he said. “They’re contributors. We got four underclassmen in the starting lineup — a freshman (Haley Danhousen) (and) three sophomores (Josie Daniel, Olivia Paquette and Lizzie Pasquin). They do a fantastic job; they’re contributors. Two of them (Paquette and Pasquin) are two of our leading scorers behind Sam. Another freshman has come in (and) been tremendous. And then on defense we got a real nice speed defender (Daniel), who’s I think, added to what’s probably one of the best defenses in our division.
“We got (a) lot of good help from some young players this year, and our JV class as well has been real helpful.”
The victor in the opening-round district game between Clawson and Country day will move on to face either Madison Heights Madison or Harper Woods in semifinal action at 5 p.m. May 31 at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.