LCN girls soccer playing well in all phases

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published May 15, 2019

 Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Madellyn Murphy, left, and Emma Kozicki celebrate a goal in an April 24 win over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley. At press time, the Crusaders had allowed just 10 goals in 14 games and have shut out seven opponents.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Madellyn Murphy, left, and Emma Kozicki celebrate a goal in an April 24 win over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley. At press time, the Crusaders had allowed just 10 goals in 14 games and have shut out seven opponents.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

 Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Alison Mannella readies to throw the ball against Clinton Township Chippewa Valley April 24. The Crusaders’ next game is against St. Clair Shores Lake Shore at 6:30 p.m. May 20 at home.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Alison Mannella readies to throw the ball against Clinton Township Chippewa Valley April 24. The Crusaders’ next game is against St. Clair Shores Lake Shore at 6:30 p.m. May 20 at home.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb L’Anse Creuse North girls soccer coach Glen Ursaki said his team has played extremely well so far this season.

The Crusaders — 8-1-5 overall and 4-1-4 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division at press time — have outscored opponents by 24 goals to this point.

“We’ve been able to dictate the tempo and style of play in large portions of our games,” Ursaki said. “Our play has been better than our record dictates. Many of the games that have ended in ties could have ended differently based on our performance in those particular games.”

The Crusaders have been especially stout on defense. North allows less than one goal per game and has pitched shutouts in half the team’s games. Only thrice has the team allowed more than one goal, and two of those matches ended in ties.

The team’s lone loss came in a 1-0 setback April 12 to Romeo High, which is tied with the Crusaders atop the division standings.

“Starting in our very first training session together, we’ve emphasized playing defensively as a team and everyone, every position, buys into that,” Ursaki said.

North’s defense is anchored by sophomore Emilie Clayton and freshman Isabel Kozicki. In net, Ursaki said that freshman Jillian Thompson is extremely talented and is doing everything she can to help the team win.   

“We take pride in shutting out our opponents and holding them to a limited number of shots on goal,” Ursaki said.

The Crusaders have a good chance to win their second division championship in three years. If that is to happen, the coach said the team has to do a better job of capitalizing on scoring chances.

“Our team has the ability to maintain possession (of the ball) and attacks relentlessly, led by a group of speedy, talented forwards,” Ursaki said. “As the girls gain more experience and continue to play together, our goal scoring will only improve.”

Ursaki said the race for the MAC White title would stay tight. Five teams are within five points of first place, with three divisional games left. Teams earn two points for a win and one for a tie.

“For us to come out on top this year, we will need to stay healthy, continue to work hard each day in training, and learn to grind out victories when we may not be on top of our game,” Ursaki said. “(The players) are playing the game the right way, within our system, and putting in the work each and every day to play at a high level. We always have high expectations and this year is no different. I’m looking forward to the remainder of this season and beyond. The future is bright at (L’Anse Creuse North).”

The Crusaders’ next game is against St. Clair Shores Lake Shore at 6:30 p.m. May 20 at home.