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September 4, 2013

Ford II boys soccer eyeing another deep playoff run

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The Utica Ford II boys soccer team next hits the field for a matchup with Utica Eisenhower, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Sterling Heights Stevenson’s Runkel Field. Pictured is Falcons sophomore midfielder Javier Steinwascher, left, during an Aug. 26 matchup against Fraser.

STERLING HEIGHTS — Last year, players on the Utica Ford II boys soccer team kept telling each other the squad would advance to the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state finals.

The Falcons fell just short of that goal, falling 2-0 to Grand Blanc in a D-1 state semifinal. The two goals allowed by Ford II in the state semi were the only goals the team surrendered on its run to the semifinal.

Falcons coach Teri Steinwascher Aug. 26 said similar conversations have taken place early this season in regard to the state tournament, which begins with district play Oct. 14.

“Only this year, we’ll have to work even harder because everyone will want to beat us,” said Steinwascher, who guided Ford II to a 12-7-5 mark in 2012. “We need to work harder than we did last year and be willing to go with the ups and downs of the season.”

The Falcons, members of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division, sat at 1-0-1 at press time and had outscored two opponents 8-0. The team has a markedly new look, having lost seven players to graduation — several of whom played major roles during Ford II’s march through the 2012 postseason.

Steinwascher said Ford II has a lot of strong talent coming through the program, and she believes the program’s future looks bright. She said she expects this year’s team to be solid and said  managing playing time will be the toughest task.

“The postseason run (gave) the boys some well-deserved confidence. The program has been getting stronger and more kids seem to have an interest in the program,” Steinwascher said. “With credit due to the boys, the program has a much more positive reputation in the (school), the district and the community.”

Steinwascher said she sees her players’ technical ability and ball handling as strengths. She said she thinks this group will need to learn to adjust on a game-by-game basis, too.

“Throughout the season, we will continually re-evaluate the games and that ability to adjust will be the test,” Steinwascher said.

“As long as we can stay focused, disciplined and on track for hard work, I believe the boys are capable of anything.”

Ford II next hits the field for a match against Utica Eisenhower, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Sterling Heights Stevenson High’s Runkel Field.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.