The Royal Oak Shrine girls soccer team raises the championship trophy after topping Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in a Division 4 district final. The Knights beat Liggett 3-0 May 30 in a tournament hosted by Madison Heights Bishop Foley.

The Royal Oak Shrine girls soccer team raises the championship trophy after topping Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in a Division 4 district final. The Knights beat Liggett 3-0 May 30 in a tournament hosted by Madison Heights Bishop Foley.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Shrine girls soccer captures district title

By: Jacob Herbert | Royal Oak Review | Published June 4, 2019

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With a 3-0 win over Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett May 30, the Royal Oak Shrine girls soccer team became the Division 4 district champion.

“We played well all around in the district,” coach Mark Soma said. “I could not have asked for much more. It is very special to accomplish another team goal for the season. We are happy for the girls and parents, but like I have been telling the girls all season, they should want more.”

Since 2016, Shrine has seen its season come to an end in the district final game every year. In 2016 and 2018, it was Liggett topping Shrine and moving on. Knights coach Mark Soma said it felt good to finally get over the hump.

“The last few years have been tough, but also a great learning experience that I hope they will be able to use going forward,” Soma said.

As it has been all season, the Shrine defense was dominant in district play. Junior goaltender Allison LaPointe gave up just one goal while she watched her offense net 19 scores over the course of three games.

The district championship is just one of many accomplishments the Knights have made this season. They also have a No. 2 statewide ranking among D-4 teams, a Division 2 Catholic High School League tournament title and a 19-3-3 overall record at press time. 

The Royal Oak high girls soccer team saw its season come to an end May 28 in a D-1 district semifinal at home. The Ravens fell 3-2 to rival Berkley High. 

Despite the early exit from the postseason, coach Tom Pavlovich said he was most pleased with how the team grew throughout the course of the season.

“The way they worked, the way they played and the way they treated this sport and this program … we’re a program to be recognized,” he said. “The girls know that now. The community here knows that now, and that’s what they deserve.”

The Ravens finished at 7-13-3. Pavlovich said the record doesn’t indicate how good the team has been in recent weeks. After a rocky start to the season, the Ravens dropped just four matches in their last 13 games. 

Seniors Morgan Russ, Raniah Howell, Maya Longe and Samantha Mullen were the seniors in the program. The coach credited those four players with getting the underclassmen up to speed.

The graduating seniors will leave a hole in the roster from a leadership standpoint, but the Ravens are confident in their skill players returning next season.

“As far as soccer skillwise, yeah, I got a good team coming out again next year,” Pavlovich said.

Also seeing its season come to an end in the district round was Clawson High. The Trojans fell to 6-0 to Warren Regina in a D-3 district final May 31 at home. The loss marked the second straight year Regina knocked out the Trojans. 

Coach Dan Wickham’s team won the Macomb Area Conference Gold division with an undefeated 12-0 record. Overall, the Trojans finished at 19-2. 

Clawson says goodbye to seniors Julliana Merfert, Celena Saylor, Mikayla Lantto, Raquelle Robbins, Devynn Stepowski, Jillian Dein and Macy Williams.

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

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