Bishop Foley soccer battling through adversity

By: Christian Davis | Madison - Park News | Published April 29, 2016

 Bishop Foley coach Andrew Wells talks to his team during a recent practice. He said the team’s goals are still attainable.

Bishop Foley coach Andrew Wells talks to his team during a recent practice. He said the team’s goals are still attainable.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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Madison Heights Bishop Foley girls soccer coach Andrew Wells sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Ventures have been racked by injuries this season, missing five starters and two impact players off the bench from the roster.

“The injury bug has hit us hard. It’s gone on and on … but the girls are competing. They’re going out there and battling,” Wells said.

At press time, Foley was 3-5-2 overall and 0-2-1 in the Catholic High School League Division 2.

The coach said he’s had to adjust the style of play, going from a possession-based scheme to more of a long-ball approach.

“Before, we would like to attack and keep the ball in their end, making the other team work for it to get it back,” Wells said. “Now we have to play a little more direct.”

On top of the new faces on the field, the Ventures have also played some of the best teams in the state in Pontiac Notre Dame Prep and Livonia Ladywood. They were ranked No. 6 and No. 7, respectively, in the Division 2 state rankings. The Ventures fell to Ladywood 3-0 and tied Prep 1-1.

“To me, those are the schools you want to compete against. You want to compare yourself to the top schools, because that’s where you want to get. Ultimately, we want to step up to the next level and compete,” the coach said.

The silver lining in it all is that the young Ventures are gaining valuable experience, and Wells said the team’s goals — play in the CHSL final and win a district — are still in reach.

“Some of your younger girls are getting a great opportunity,” Wells said. “They’re being expected now to step up, not just playing-wise and performance-wise, but they’re being expected to carry a little bit more of the load. I think in the long run, they’re learning a lot from that and will be more comfortable.”

Sophomore captain Laurel Krause has provided part of the leadership.

“What she brings for us is consistency. She shows up every day and performs at the top of her ability,” Wells said. “For a sophomore, to be that vocal and understand the game the way she does is extremely rare. She’s taken the responsibility of being a leader and not just succeeded, but she’s probably my most influential player.”

Krause was an honorable-mention All-State selection last season along with fellow sophomore Jillian Ramos.

Ramos is again having a strong showing, leading the team in points with four goals and six assists.

Wells said Ramos is hard to defend because she can use her athleticism to go by the defense and has the leg to strike from the outside, along with the vision to find an open teammate.

Freshman Mackenzie Kopf has also provided a scoring punch. She has four goals and an assist.

“She’s the type of player that, given more time and experience, she could be pretty deadly for us going forward,” Wells said.

Catch the Ventures against Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard at 7 p.m. May 5 at home.

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