Stoney Creek succeeding under program’s high standards

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published May 1, 2019

 Rochester Hills Stoney Creek senior Meghan Solek looks to kick the ball April 25 in a home game against Birmingham Seaholm.

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek senior Meghan Solek looks to kick the ball April 25 in a home game against Birmingham Seaholm.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

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ROCHESTER HILLS — When the Rochester Hills Stoney Creek girls soccer team beat Forrest Hills Northern 1-0 in the 2016 state final, it was the culmination of all the hard work and dedication the team had put into the program.

There’s a high standard that comes along with playing soccer at Stoney Creek: a commitment to pushing yourself in games and in practice, all in hopes of improving every day.

Cougars coach Bryan Mittelstadt sees similarities between his championship team and his current team in that regard. Those similarities are also in play with the goals the team has for the season.

“When we won states in 2016, the goal there was to take everything game by game,” Mittelstadt said. “I think they’ve gone back to that mentality with about four or five players that were on that state championship team.”

The hope for Mittelstadt is that as the team navigates through the Oakland Activities Association Red Division schedule, it learns from its mistakes while battling with teams that excel in speed and strength.

At press time, the Cougars were 9-0 overall and 2-0 in the division. Mittelstadt attributed the perfect start to his strong senior class, roster depth and all players buying into the system.

“That’s probably one of our greatest strengths,” the coach said about the Cougars’ depth. “We can move players around a little bit and play different systems. We can match up with other teams well, and I think that helps us out.”

Senior defenseman Lauren Orlando holds down the back end for the Cougars. Stoney Creek has only allowed four goals this season, and Orlando has been key in the defensive effort. The offense has scored 35 goals in that same time frame.

Senior midfielder Meghan Solek has also had a strong start to the season. Mittelstadt said Solek — who was recently named Stoney Creek’s top senior female athlete — has always been a talented player for the Cougars.

Mittelstadt also listed senior midfielder Amelia Kuntzman as another player who’s been having a strong season.

Even with the perfect start and the depth that Stoney Creek boasts, there are still improvements to be made in the coach’s eyes.

“We’re just starting to get into the league, and I think the kids have a strong understanding that we’ve got to step up our game, records aside,” Mittelstadt said. “We’ve got to play harder and a little bit faster. Those are some key areas that we’re talking about.”

While the Cougars blew through the early portion of the schedule, they may see a spike in competition with upcoming league games against Bloomfield Hills High May 2, Rochester High May 9 and Rochester Adams May 16.

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