Soccer

Published September 21, 2011

TROY — Call it unfinished business.

Last season, the Troy High boys soccer team repeated as league champions of the Oakland Activities Association Red Division, won a district and competed for a regional title before being stymied by a dominant Grand Blanc squad.

This year, Troy is determined to have another shot at a regional championship and will settle for nothing short of a state title.

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Published September 21, 2011

It was one of the first games of the season, and by Anna Lukezich’s own admission, her team hardly knew itself just yet.

Lukezich will know just how far the Royal Oak High boys soccer team has come since an Aug. 30 loss to Farmington High when her Ravens play host to the Falcons at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 27.

“I think we’ve come a long way since then,” Lukezich said of the 3-0 loss. “We lost our first four games of the season, but have been playing much better since then. They’ve really started figuring things out.”

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Published September 7, 2011

MOUNT CLEMENS — After a couple of years playing defensive soccer at East Detroit, the Shamrocks are ready to go on the offensive.

“This year, we’re a very forward team,” coach Al Palazzolo said. “So far, it’s paid off.”
The payoff was proof in the final score of the Shamrocks’ Aug. 29 game at Mount Clemens, as East Detroit toppled the Battling Bathers 6-0.

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Published September 7, 2011

As the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s soccer team enters its fifth season as a program, coach Joe Ruffolo is optimistic about where the team is headed.

“We’re going to be competitive,” Ruffolo said. “I’m pretty optimistic about this season. This is the first time in the four years that I’ve been the head coach that I’ve got a group of players that understand the game of soccer, that have played club soccer and that are beginning to jell as a team.”

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Published August 31, 2011

ROYAL OAK — Anna Lukezich knows it isn’t going to be easy.

Over the past five years, since Royal Oak Kimball and Royal Oak Dondero merged to form Royal Oak High, there hasn’t been much stability at the helm of the boys soccer program.

Lukezich is hoping she can change that as she takes the clipboard this season.

“We have a different attitude than in previous years,” said Lukezich, who teaches industrial arts at the high school. “It’s more of a team atmosphere instead of focusing on individual play.

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Published August 31, 2011


Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse’s boys soccer team is hoping to make an impression in its league this season.

The Lancers, who kicked off the 2011 campaign after press time, open Macomb Area Conference Blue Division play at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at Madison Heights Lamphere. Their next home game is at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 against Macomb Dakota.

They will also compete against St. Clair Shores Lakeview, Warren Mott, Port Huron and defending division champs Warren Cousino in the MAC Blue.

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Published August 30, 2011

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Jason Clark is no stranger to the West Bloomfield High soccer program, guiding the girls team to its first league championship in the Oakland Activities Association last spring.

So when he boys program needed a new head varsity coach, it seemed only fitting for Clark to put his winning ways to work.

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Published August 23, 2011

Few boys soccer teams across the Macomb Area Conference have enjoyed the same level of regular-season success as St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.

The Shorians, who kicked off the 2011 campaign after press time, have won three division titles in the past four seasons, including back-to-back MAC Gold crowns the last two years.

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Published August 16, 2011

A year ago, Alison Holland was a backup to Troy High four-year veteran and All-State goalkeeper Victoria Triccoli.

Today, Holland isn’t just filling the shoes Triccoli left behind; she’s making a name for herself.

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Published July 8, 2011

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Following another stellar season of girls soccer in the Oakland Activities Association, one that was filled with battles and a postseason marked with memorable runs, it’s time to honor the conference’s most prolific players.

Highlighting the season was Troy High’s appearance in the all-Oakland County state final; the Colts advanced to the Division 1 state final against Novi High.

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Published June 22, 2011

EAST LANSING — With the top two teams facing off for a state championship, plenty was on the line.

Troy High was making its first appearance in the state finals since 2003, when it won its second state title in program history. Novi High entered as the defending state champion and No. 1-ranked team in the state.

In the June 18 Division 1 state championship at Michigan State University’s DeMartin Stadium, Novi won its second straight state title and fifth in seven seasons by topping Troy 1-0 to finish the year unbeaten at 22-0-2.

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Published June 22, 2011

TROY — Olivia Brannon is the first to admit she’s not comfortable being the center of attention.

“I’m a shy person; it’s really overwhelming doing things like this,” Brannon said at ceremony to honor her for becoming Gatorade Michigan Girls Soccer Player of the Year 2011.

But Brannon needs to get used to being in the spotlight. The Gatorade award is one of many she’s likely to acquire — she’s already a Parade All-American, and she recently garnered the Michigan Miss Soccer Award.

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Published June 15, 2011

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The sun was scorching, but that didn’t stop the largest crowd that Skipper Mukhtar has seen all season from coming out to witness Madison Heights Lamphere’s girls soccer team continue rewriting the program’s history book.

The Rams (15-5-1), playing past the district round for the first time in program history, beat St. Clair Shores Lakeview 4-0 June 7 in a Division 2 regional semifinal at Bloomfield Hills Andover.

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Published June 15, 2011

TROY — Fraser High girls soccer coach Thaier Mukhtar knew his young squad had to “come in and play a mistake-free game” should the Ramblers have a chance of upsetting the undefeated defending Division 1 champions from Novi High in a June 7 regional semifinal game.

While the Wildcats walked away with a 5-0 victory at Troy High and a chance to defend their crown, the Ramblers didn’t go home empty-handed.

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Published June 14, 2011

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Five girls soccer teams with local ties will be in action the evening of June 15 with a chance to play in the June 18 state finals on the line.

In Division 1, Grosse Pointe South will play defending state champion Novi High at 7 p.m. at Farmington Hills Harrison, while Troy High will head to Holt to face Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central at 6 p.m.

The winners will meet in the noon final at Michigan State University.

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Published June 9, 2011

BEVERLY HILLS — One goal was all it took for Beverly Hills Hills Detroit Country Day’s girls soccer team to claim a Division 3 district title over Clawson High June 4.

Assistant girls soccer coach Paul Bartoshuk said sophomore Haley Verbeek has been practicing the shot that punched the Yellowjackets’ ticket to the regional round, where they faced Riverview Gabriel Richard June 7, after press time.

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Published June 7, 2011

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse’s girls soccer team came up just shy in its bid for a division title and in advancing past the first round of the playoffs.

But the Lancers have nothing to hang their heads about as their season came to an end.
L’Anse Creuse lost 1-0 to Clinton Township Chippewa Valley in a May 31 district game and finished in second place of the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division, one game behind Warren Cousino.

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Published June 2, 2011

St. Clair Shores South Lake’s girls soccer team made quite an impact this season in its new league. The Cavaliers, who played in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division for more than a decade, moved in the MAC Silver this year and went a perfect 12-0-0.

“This was our goal going into the season,” South Lake coach Marty Shearer said.

South Lake (12-2-1 overall at press time), which won its last league title in 2002 in the MAC Gold, dominated division play, outscoring opponents 74-3 in league play.

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Published June 1, 2011

After a couple of close calls, Clawson High’s girls soccer team can now raise its first Macomb Area Conference division champion banner.

“It’s great. They set out in March with that goal in mind,” Clawson coach Jared Kullman said of his team’s accomplishment.

The team finished in first of a top-heavy MAC Gold Division with a 9-2-1 record. Close behind was St. Clair High (8-2-2), Marysville High (7-3-2) and Warren Mott (6-4-2).

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Published June 1, 2011

Since dropping its season opener to Troy High, the Troy Athens girls soccer team has put the pedal to the metal and never looked back.

The Red Hawks rode a 15-game winning streak to an Oakland Activities Association Red Division title, posting a 9-1 league to capture their third division crown in the past four years.

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