GROSSE POINTE WOODS –– It’s hard to imagine a better start to the season for the Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett soccer team.
Coach David Dwaihy’s group has come out of the gates hot and hasn’t slowed down. At press time, the Knights were 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the Catholic High School League Intersectional 1.
The Knights have knocked off each league opponent once already and have now started to see them again. The goal is to win the league and build some confidence heading into the state playoffs.
“The coaching staff is just really excited about the way we’re playing, the way we’ve been winning games and the approach that the guys have been taking,” Dwaihy said.
While most teams are either strong on offense or playing really well defensively, Liggett has found a balance.
Through six games, the Knights have allowed just one goal, which Dwaihy said was an own goal. On offense, Liggett hasn’t been letting its foot off the gas, scoring a total of 26 goals.
“It’s been a big deal,” senior Will Nicholson said of the defense. “I think we’ve been taking pride in not giving up a lot of goals, and we know if we don’t get scored on, we’re not going to lose, so we take a lot of pride in that.”
With the success early in the season, Liggett has been recognized as one of the top teams by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association.
The Knights were ranked No. 1 in Division 4 in the Sept. 16 coaches rankings. For Dwaihy and his team, it’s an honor and something they use as motivation.
However, while being considered one of the top teams in the state is a great accomplishment, the team has found itself staying humble and focusing on the next opponent.
“You know you got to bring your ‘A’ game. There’s no days off, and everybody’s gunning for you, so you know you just got to bring mental toughness. Every game, you got to be mentally in it,” senior Nolan Ondersma said.
The way the team has been playing so far has the Knights excited and eager to see what the future holds.
With a balanced group and growing confidence, Dwaihy believes winning a state championship isn’t out of the question.
“We’ve kind of talked about not getting too far ahead of ourselves, but also, I don’t want to pretend that it’s not a consideration. We have a team that could definitely make a deep run in the state tournament,” Dwaihy said. “I really do believe that we can beat anybody in the state in our division, and if that’s the case, then there’s reason to believe that winning a state championship is a reasonable goal.”
Catch Liggett on the field at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 19 at home against Riverview Gabriel Richard.