Avondale soccer hoping to return to the top

By: Christian Davis | Rochester Post | Published April 5, 2016


Auburn Hills Avondale soccer coach Doug Steinard admits that he hopes competing in the Oakland Activities Association White Division is just a quick stop.

“We were in the Red (Division) last year. We finished in last (place), so we got relegated to the White. I think we have a little chip on our shoulders to get back into the Red,” he said.

The way to the Red is winning the White, where teams like Berkley High, Clarkston High, Farmington High, Lake Orion High, Oxford High and Rochester High loom.

At press time, Avondale was 1-2-1 and 0-1 in the White. Its lone divisional game was a 1-0 setback to Berkley, though Steinard said the Yellow Jackets are still finding their footing and the right combinations on the field.

“We’ve been up and down, but it’s early. There have been moments of really good stuff and moments of stuff that we have to work on,” he said. “I’m just looking to where girls fit in spots.”

The coach believes the pieces are there, as Avondale returns six starters.

“Our back line has been playing together for three years, and there are a couple key returners and some girls that are coming off the bench this year that are going to be starters and are really going to help,” Steinard said.

Junior Katelyn Mather is a three-year starter at forward and has been an honorable-mention All-State selection the past two years.

Seniors Emma Ahern and Emma Hanawalt are four-year starters and anchor the defense.

Junior Laura Silverman is in her third year starting and plays midfield.

“I think this is the year, if any, that we have to do something with the girls that have been on this team for a long time,” Steinard said. “I would see ourselves as favorites, hopefully, after coming down from the Red and having a lot of returners, but there are some good teams in this league.”

Watch the Yellow Jackets take on Clarkston at 7 p.m. April 12 at home.