Royal Oak Shrine junior Jess Reaume chases after the ball in a recent home game. At press time, the Knights were 8-0 on the season.

Royal Oak Shrine junior Jess Reaume chases after the ball in a recent home game. At press time, the Knights were 8-0 on the season.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Shrine girls soccer playing at a high level

By: Jacob Herbert | Royal Oak Review | Published April 30, 2019

 Royal Oak Shrine junior goalkeeper Allison LaPoint high-fives a teammate after scoring via penalty kick April 25 in a home game against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. Through eight games this season, LaPoint has only surrendered two goals.

Royal Oak Shrine junior goalkeeper Allison LaPoint high-fives a teammate after scoring via penalty kick April 25 in a home game against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. Through eight games this season, LaPoint has only surrendered two goals.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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Through the first month and a half of the girls soccer season, life couldn’t get much better for Royal Oak Shrine from an on-paper standpoint. 

At press time, the Knights were 8-0 overall and ranked No. 1 in the state in Division 4. Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett coach David Dwaihy said he feels the Knights are a favorite for the state title, but Shrine coach Mark Soma is not looking that far ahead.

“I don’t think about those things. It’s one game at a time,” Soma said. “I learned a long time ago that if you set simple goals and accomplish those simple goals, the long term will work out in the process.”

Still, Soma and the Knights have plenty to be proud of with this year’s team. They have a strong junior class that has been playing together for a long time. 

Junior goalkeeper Allison LaPoint leads the team. 

“I’m so comfortable around every single one of them,” LaPoint said. “I can trust everyone with the ball, and everyone is so supportive no matter what playing time they get. I think that’s a big thing, because I’m the only goalkeeper on the team and it’s never been a question of whether they’re backing me up or I’m backing them up.”

LaPoint has already committed to play soccer at Central Michigan University after her high school career is done. She has been a captain of the team since her freshman year, which Soma said has never happened in his 10 years at Shrine. To top it all off, LaPoint has only given up two goals this season.

Helping LaPoint by controlling the dominant backline is Rose Rzepecki. The junior defender has been holding down the position for three years, gaining nothing but respect from LaPoint, who said she’s extremely solid and doesn’t get enough credit for the job she does on the field.

Regan Robinson is another junior whom Soma mentioned as being someone to look out for this season.

“They’ll run through a wall for you,” Soma said about his junior class. “They do things differently than we’ve done in the past. They’re committed to improving themselves in the offseason. As a coach, we’ve really emphasized that’s how we need to get better overall. They’ve done that really well over the last couple of years.”

On the topic of getting better, Soma stressed that the team is at a very important point in the season. They can either continue to improve and make a strong run in the Catholic High School League and state tournaments or stay complacent and be the same team for the rest of the season. Everyone else will be searching for ways to improve, and Soma wants Shrine to follow suit.

Soma wants the team to focus on scoring more goals, among a list of simple things the team needs to do to get better.

“We have a lot of people who can score goals. Right now, not many are like they were in the past,” the coach said. “I think that needs to change in order for us to be more successful.”

Not looking too far into the future, the Knights do have district title hopes in mind. Under Soma’s tenure, the Knights have won two sectional titles and two league titles. They’ve competed in numerous district finals, but were never able to put it together in the final game. 

The Knights are looking to change that narrative this year. Soma believes it will happen if the team plays together.

“We’re set up where we should compete with almost any team that’s the same size as our school,” he said.

Call Sports Writer Jacob Herbert at (586) 498-1062. Follow Sports on Twitter @CandGSports.

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