Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Nicholas Grimes, right, battles for the ball against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood Sept. 10. At press time, the Eaglets were 6-8-1 overall.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Nicholas Grimes, right, battles for the ball against Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood Sept. 10. At press time, the Eaglets were 6-8-1 overall.

Photo by Sean Work


St. Mary’s soccer ready to compete in postseason

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published October 4, 2019

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ORCHARD LAKE — After a rough start to the season, the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s soccer team is starting to peak at the right time.

With the playoffs right around the corner, the Eaglets have won four of their last five games, while pitching three shutouts.

At press time, St. Mary’s was 6-8-1 overall, but coach Keith Jeffery said that the record doesn’t truly reflect how well the team has been playing.

“I like the kids. They work extremely hard,” Jeffery said. “It’s a lot of learning and a lot of teaching moments here, but moving forward, I like our chances. We keep getting better every day, and game by game, we’re improving.”

After losing some key players from last year’s squad, it took some time for the Eaglets to come together and find what works on the field.

With their success over the last few weeks, the Eaglets’ confidence level has started to rise, and they are playing better as a whole.

“We want to peak at the right time,” Jeffery said. “It’s October, so this is where you want to play your best soccer. Hopefully all the mistakes we made at the beginning of the season, we got those out of the way.”

For the Eaglets, the state playoffs will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 against Pontiac High at home. Should they win that game, they would get the winner of Auburn Hills Avondale and Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 at Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day. The district final is two days later at 6 p.m., also at Country Day.

On the other side of the bracket, Country Day received a bye and will await the winner of Birmingham Brother Rice and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

St. Mary’s has seen Prep and Cranbrook this year. The Eaglets defeated Prep 1-0 and have a tie and a loss against the Cranes.

With Country Day and Cranbrook currently ranked in the top 10 in the state, the Eaglets know they are underdogs to come out of the district.

However, in a one-game elimination setting, anything can happen, and the Eaglets are going to give each team their best shot.

“This season has been a lot of ups and downs,” sophomore Nicholas Kiafoulis said. “We are definitely better than we were the first week. We are definitely improving more and we’re still improving.”

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