Seaholm girls soccer focused on being a dominant force

By: Mike Moore | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 30, 2018

 Birmingham Seaholm’s Ashley David (17) controls the ball during a win against North Farmington earlier this season. The Maples were 6-0-0 at press time.

Birmingham Seaholm’s Ashley David (17) controls the ball during a win against North Farmington earlier this season. The Maples were 6-0-0 at press time.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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BIRMINGHAM — Not that anyone is counting, but as he spoke about his team last week, Manuel Rodrigues was quick to point out a pretty impressive statistic.

Pretty dominant, as well.

Since the start of the season last spring, Rodrigues and his Birmingham Seaholm girls soccer team haven’t lost in the regular season.

The girls were 12-0-4 last year in the regular campaign. At press time this year, the squad was 6-0-0.

And then Rodrigues was quick to point out how the first, and only, game of the district tournament in 2017 was a loss.

“I’ve never seen such desire on a team I’ve coached, and I mean that,” Rodrigues said of his current group and what it wants to do. “They are fired up at every practice. At simple film sessions, they are watching mistakes and trying to get better. Our motto centers on staying healthy, staying humble and striving for perfection. They’ve totally bought in.”

With aspirations of a long playoff run last spring, the Maples were ousted in the first game of the tournament by Troy High.

The current group came back looking to rebound from that heartbreak and picked up right where last regular season ended.

And then some.

“We’ve put together a more difficult schedule,” Rodrigues said. “There won’t be any surprises this time around. … The main goal is to win the (Oakland Activities Association White Division) again. But beyond that, this is a team that can go on a run. That’s what these girls believe.”

If that’s going to happen, the Maples certainly have the game plan to do so, Rodrigues said.

“It’s going to sound cliché, but the style we play just works,” he said. “We have 10 juniors who were 17-0 playing together as freshmen. We have other girls who’ve been on the varsity (team) for a few years now. We play that possession style — we pass, we move the ball. We have a physical, strong team.”

Through six games, the Maples had scored 26 times while allowing only five goals.

“Why not us?” Rodrigues said when asked if this team could go on a run. “We’ve proven we can play with the big, strong teams. We’ve played against some of the best in the area. I believe you create your own destiny. We’ve worked way too hard and have way too much talent to not believe we can go all the way. They believe that, and I’m not going to get in the way of that.”

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