Roseville High girls soccer coach seeking success

By: Jason Carmel Davis, | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 18, 2017

ROSEVILLE — Roseville High girls soccer coach Brad VandeVorde has brought about a positive change in the program and hopes the upward trend continues this season.

The Panthers, 1-0-1 at press time, won two games in 2014 — the year before VandeVorde took the reins.

Since then, his squad is 20-17-3.

 Roseville High senior Maddie Kay, right, battles for the ball during a game last season. The team has won 20 games over the last two seasons after winning a total of 18 games over the previous five years.

Roseville High senior Maddie Kay, right, battles for the ball during a game last season. The team has won 20 games over the last two seasons after winning a total of 18 games over the previous five years.

File photo by Sean Work

The Panthers were 10-7-2 in 2015, their first winning record since 2008.

VandeVorde believes camaraderie is the biggest reason for the turnaround and that a strong bond is key for the team to take the next step.

“These girls know I care about them, and they know my belief in them never waivers,” VandeVorde said.

“I made that clear to them when I took over, and I tell them that to this day. But any success we have is all them,” he continued. “I can only do so much as a coach. They get my best every day and vice versa. We have a family-type atmosphere as a program. It’s not about one person.”

Through two games this season, Roseville has scored six goals while not allowing any.

The Panthers coach likes how his team is playing, but said there’s always room for improvement.

“We’re learning every day,” VandeVorde said. “I want to see the girls work hard every day, play with maximum effort and focus. We just want to get better every day and improve where we’re lacking, and the girls understand that.”

Leading the charge are seniors Maddie Kay and Alex Martin, and juniors Bre Lind and Rachel Orler. VandeVorde commended the group for their leadership skills and called them the strength of the team.

“They know the challenges that come with (playing varsity soccer),” VandeVorde said. “It’s not easy. For us to win any titles this year, everyone will have to buy in and make sacrifices for the team — making sure we’re ready to go each and every game no matter who we’re playing.”

The Panthers compete in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division. They finished fourth last season and third in 2015. Defending champion Warren Woods Tower has since moved to the MAC Gold, but VandeVorde expects the league to be a dogfight.

The team also plays in the Division 1 district hosted by St. Clair Shores Lake Shore. That field includes Detroit Cass Tech, Detroit Western International, Grosse Pointe South, Hamtramck High, St. Clair Shores Lakeview and Lake Shore.

“We want a banner this year,” VandeVorde said. “These girls from day one have put in a lot of work, hitting the weights and getting in shape. I’m fortunate to have 11 girls back from last season, and we have a great core of underclassmen. We just have to stay the course, and we’ll be OK.”

Roseville’s next game is against New Haven High at 6 p.m. April 19 on the road.