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Grosse Pointes, Shelby Township, Utica

May 14, 2014

Utica Eisenhower turns back Grosse Pointe South

Eagles take command of MAC Red title race

By Thomas Franz
C & G Sports Writer

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Utica Eisenhower turns back Grosse Pointe South
South's Madison Vallan tries to slow down Ike's Isabella Palazzollo during a battle for the top spot in the MAC Red. Ike won the game 3-0.

Utica Eisenhower took advantage of a weakened Grosse Pointe South to win a critical Macomb Area Conference Red contest 3-0 on Wednesday night at South.

Eisenhower got on the board 10 minutes into the game by way of a Jill Doss goal that was assisted by Julia Henning.

The two sides exchanged scoring chances later in the first half, but Eisenhower would pull away late in the second half.

"Right now, we are playing good soccer, and to be fair to South, they are missing players, and obviously, once they get their players healthy again they're going to be a much different team," Eisenhower coach Mehrdad Nekoogar said. "We just had to make sure to take advantage of that today and win the game."

Junior forward Paige Duda scored with 14:03 left in the game to give the Eagles some breathing room at 2-0. Junior midfielder Isabella Palazzolo put the game away for good by scoring with just more than three minutes left.

South coach Gene Harkins said that the Blue Devils were without six starters against Eisenhower because of injuries and illness.

"It was disappointing," Harkins said. "We did the best we could. We just didn't have all of the tools today. It just changed everything about the game."

Eisenhower moved to 10-1-2 with a 6-1 mark in the Red. With the win, Eisenhower took over first place in the division from the Blue Devils, who are now 6-3-5 overall and 5-2-1 in the Red.

The two teams will play again May 22. Prior to that, Eisenhower will take on Utica High  in its next game on May 16, and South will host Chippewa Valley on May 19.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Thomas Franz at tfranz@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040.