Hard work guiding Walled Lake Northern girls soccer

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 10, 2019

 Walled Lake Northern’s Dani Wolfe moves the ball up the field against Milford High May 7. At press time, the Knights were 7-4-2 overall.

Walled Lake Northern’s Dani Wolfe moves the ball up the field against Milford High May 7. At press time, the Knights were 7-4-2 overall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Walled Lake Northern’s Maggie Weber looks upfield against Milford High May 7. The Knights won 3-1.

Walled Lake Northern’s Maggie Weber looks upfield against Milford High May 7. The Knights won 3-1.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WALLED LAKE — The Walled Lake Northern girls soccer program has been about as consistent as you can be over the last few years.

The Knights won 14 games in 2017, while making a run to a Division 1 regional final. In 2018, they won 18 games and scored 79 goals.

This year has been no different, as Northern was 7-4-2 overall and 4-2 in the Lakes Valley Conference at press time. The Knights were also ranked No. 13 in Division 1 in the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association’s May 6 poll.

“We have such a good program,” junior Ellie Rogers said. “We have such good players that can build this program and that are building this program, so I feel like we definitely have a lot of expectations for our team, and I think we could go really far.”

And if you ask coach Drew Drummond what the key to their success has been over the last few seasons, he won’t be afraid to share their secret.

For the program, it all comes down to hard work. It’s a principle the program has built itself on and something it tries to maintain year in and year out.

“Anybody can have a good touch or a bad touch, depending on the conditions, but the only thing you can always control is hard work, and that’s what we stress to the girls,” Drummond said. “If you outwork a team, then you’ve got a good chance of beating them, so that’s kind of like the foundation of what we try to do.”

Going along with her coach, senior Dani Wolfe also sees hard work as something that has carried the team over the last few years.

“When you think of Walled Lake Northern, you think of just the way that we all work hard and just the way that we’re a team,” she said. “We work for the shield on our chest, and we just do it for each other.”

With the regular season winding down, teams from around the state are gearing up for playoff soccer, and the Knights know what’s at stake.

After being knocked out in a D-1 district semifinal last year, Northern is motivated to not let that happen again.

This year, the Knights’ district will take place at White Lake Lakeland, with Bloomfield Hills High, Clarkston High, Walled Lake Central, Waterford Kettering, Waterford Mott, West Bloomfield High and the host battling for a title. Northern has tied with Bloomfield Hills, while defeating Central, Lakeland and Mott.

“Once you taste that, it just makes you want it more,” Drummond said. “A lot of these girls were on that team two years ago that had a lot of success, and they were the same girls that felt that sting of exiting early last year. So I know a lot of them are really motivated to do something this year and to press on and see how far we can go.”

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