East Detroit girls soccer team battles despite adversity
Published April 21, 2014
Ready to play
• At home against New Haven at 4 p.m. April 28 at Forest Park Elementary School.
• At home against Center Line at 4 p.m. April 30 at Forest Park Elementary School.
• On the road at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian at 4:30 p.m. May 2.
EASTPOINTE — The East Detroit High girls soccer team has had four coaches in the last four years.
A team of high school athletes could fold under those conditions, but the veterans on the Shamrocks’ girls soccer team, which sat at 1-2-0-, 1-0-0 Macomb Area Conference Silver Division at press time, have taken everything in stride.
Alyssa Komlenovich is a four-year varsity player. She said each coach has brought something different to the table, which players have soaked in each year. She also said the players’ dispositions have been strong enough to handle the changes.
“It’s really hard, though, because we’re one of the schools that doesn’t have JV team,” Shamrocks senior April Schlesinger said. “So when we get new girls in the program, instead of starting on JV, they start on varsity. It’s as much of a challenge (for the new players) as it is (for the veterans) because we want to do well as a team, so we try to help them as much as possible to get them ready for each (match).”
The team has finished in the top half of the MAC Silver each of the last three years. East Detroit came within a tie of winning the league in 2011. Its last league title came in 2008.
First-year East Detroit coach Erika Lee said dealing with and playing through that adversity is the team’s strength. She said the players are good at adapting to any situation and figuring things out on their own during matches.
“They do a really good job of coaching each other,” Lee said. “In a positive way, they correct one another if a teammate is doing something wrong.”
Lee said the team must work on staying in position on offense and defense if it hopes to have success. She said she is also working with the players on ball control.
Lee tapped Komlenovich, Schlesinger and junior Ashlee Gebstadt as leaders. She said sophomore Sarah Hall is well-versed in the game and does a strong job with pointing out areas teammates can improve on.
“I’m just trying to get them to come together as a team and win as much as they can,” Lee said. “It’s so hard to explain different things because there are so many new players and new coaches. We’re just trying to improve with each game.”
East Detroit’s next match is at 4 p.m. April 28 against New Haven at Forest Park Elementary School in Eastpointe.