Athens girls soccer having a strong season

By: Mark Vest | Troy Times | Published May 15, 2019

 Troy Athens senior Brooke Russell kicks the ball away against Troy High May 9. At press time, Athens was 12-2-2 on the season.

Troy Athens senior Brooke Russell kicks the ball away against Troy High May 9. At press time, Athens was 12-2-2 on the season.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

 Athens soccer players celebrate a goal earlier this season. Athens is ranked as the No. 9 team in the state.

Athens soccer players celebrate a goal earlier this season. Athens is ranked as the No. 9 team in the state.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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TROY — In the latest Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association girls soccer rankings, Troy Athens was ranked as the No. 9 team in the state.

At press time, Athens was 12-2-2 overall.

“I think we can go far,” senior captain Jordyn Rauser said.

After losing by one goal in a Division 1 district final each of the past two seasons, senior captain Brooke Russell would like to come away from this season with better memories.

“It’s been really fun,” Russell said. “We’re doing a lot better. We’re all really good together. We have really good team chemistry.”

Athens coach Todd Heugh described his team as “hard-nosed.”

“They’re excited to try to improve and to try to grow day by day and week by week,” he said. “They get over victories well, and they get over defeats quickly. They move on to the next one.”

This year’s team has a chance to add to one of the stronger soccer traditions in the area.

Soccer is popular within the city of Troy, and given that he played for Athens in the 1980s, the tradition is one that Heugh is very familiar with.

“It’s a big thing in our city,” he said. “We’re very (fortunate) here that we have access to good players. Soccer is something that our kids take seriously. They play in the offseason, and it’s very helpful for us.”

Athens’ JV squad has also been going strong and hadn’t lost a game yet at press time.

“We’re constantly ready to go (with) hungry players,” Heugh said. “Our kids are hungry and well-prepared when they come up. I feel good about the state of the program.”

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