From left, Bloomfield Hills Marian captains Neve Badalow, Sara Stroud and Jansen Eichenlaub pose with the trophy after winning the Division 2 state championship for the third year in a row. The Mustangs beat Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 2-1 in overtime June 14 at DeMartin Stadium.

From left, Bloomfield Hills Marian captains Neve Badalow, Sara Stroud and Jansen Eichenlaub pose with the trophy after winning the Division 2 state championship for the third year in a row. The Mustangs beat Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 2-1 in overtime June 14 at DeMartin Stadium.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


Marian tops Forest Hills Northern in OT, three-peats as D-2 champs

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published June 14, 2019

 Bloomfield Hills Marian junior midfielder Anna Leonard clears the ball out her defensive zone in the D-2 state title game June 14. The Mustangs finish the season 18-1 overall.

Bloomfield Hills Marian junior midfielder Anna Leonard clears the ball out her defensive zone in the D-2 state title game June 14. The Mustangs finish the season 18-1 overall.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Advertisement

EAST LANSING — Beating the same team three years in a row is not an easy thing to do in sports. But that’s exactly what Bloomfield Hills Marian did June 14 at DeMartin Stadium, beating Forest Hills Northern 2-1 in overtime to capture the Division 2 state championship crown.

“I can’t even believe it’s real,” senior midfielder Sara Stroud said. “The whole time I was like, 'wow, we made it.' We really worked for it. It showed on the field. We never gave up even though we were a goal down. We just played our game and we got it. I couldn’t be happier.”

Winning back-to-back state titles is nothing new to the Mustangs. That feat was accomplished during the 2003 and 2002 seasons, and again during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Both times Marian won back-to-back titles, it was knocked out in the first game of the playoffs the following year. That wouldn’t be the case this year as sophomore forward Maria Askounis secured the victory, putting the Mustangs ahead in the second of two 10-minute overtime sessions.

With four minutes to play in the game, Stroud served up corner kick that was met by Emily Rassel. The sophomore midfielder sent the ball over to Askounis who tapped it in, giving the Mustangs an advantage it wouldn’t relinquish.

“I was just so excited,” Askounis said. "I just ran to my teammates, because I knew time was ticking down on the clock and we had done it.”

Coach Barry Brodsky’s team found themselves down almost right out of the gate. Forest Hills Northern sophomore forward Grace Sayers beat Megan Kraus just six minutes into the game to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead that would last the rest of the half.

Much like this year, Marian beat the Huskies 2-1 in 2017. Also in that game, the Mustangs played from behind. Because of that prior experience, there was no panic, but instead a confidence that an equalizer was imminent.

Finally, the tying goal game in the 44th minute, and it came from Rassel, the same player who had a hand in the game-winner. Rassel took a centering pass from Jansen Eichenlaub and beat Huskies keeper Parker Hutchinson with a shot in the upper left-hand corner of the net.

With the season now over, Stroud, Eichenlaub and Kraus, along with fellow seniors Katie Sullivan, Neve Badalow, Sydney Petoskey, Megan Dolan and Morgan Cochran all bid farewell to their playing careers at Marian. Over those four years, they won 68 games, lost only three, tied twice and gave a program with a top-notch legacy its sixth, seventh and eighth state championship since 2003.

For Stroud, her time at Marian was built behind a family-like atmosphere. That’s what stands out the most when she looks back at her illustrious career.

“It means everything,” she said. “I look down and I know I have a family behind me. I look at my 'C' and I know I have a family behind me. We have so many things bring us to family, and love is what Marian is about.”

Advertisement