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GIRLS SOCCER: Troy advances to third straight state finals with shootout win over Rochester

| June 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

 

FOR MORE SOCCER COVERAGE: http://northoaklandsports.com/?s=soccer&x=0&y=0

 

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

 

LAKE ORION — Alison Holland knows that a shootout is anybody’s guess. As a goalkeeper, she guessed right twice Wednesday evening.

The senior keeper from Troy High, arguably the best netminder in the state, stopped two of five shooters in a penalty kick shootout, while her teammates converted four of five shots to lift the Colts to a 2-1 victory over OAA Red Division rival Rochester in a Division 1 girls soccer state semifinal at Lake Orion High School.

The 4-3 edge on PKs was Troy’s third shootout win of the postseason. The win also lifts the unranked Colts into its third straight state finals match, where fellow unranked squad Grandville awaits for a 12 p.m. contest Saturday at Williamston.

“You have to guess on those shots,” offered Holland.

Holland and the Colts lost to Novi, 1-0, in the state finals two years ago and again to Okemos, 2-0, last season. Could this be a good omen?

“We’re hoping that the third time is the charm,” smiled Holland.

RISE ABOVE: Troy’s Grace Goodrich gets past Rochester's Sarah Egbert during Wednesday’s Division 1 state semifinals. Goodrich and the Colts advance to the state finals with a 2-1, shootout win over the Falcons. Photo | Larry McKee, www.lmckeephotography.com, lmckeephotography@comcast.net.

RISE ABOVE: Troy’s Grace Goodrich gets past Rochester’s Sarah Egbert during Wednesday’s Division 1 state semifinals. Goodrich and the Colts advance to the state finals with a 2-1, shootout win over the Falcons. Photo | Larry McKee, www.lmckeephotography.com, lmckeephotography@comcast.net.

RISE ABOVE: Troy’s Grace Goodrich gets past Rochester’s Sarah Egbert during Wednesday’s Division 1 state semifinals. Goodrich and the Colts advance to the state finals with a 2-1, shootout win over the Falcons. Photo | Larry McKee, www.lmckeephotography.com, lmckeephotography@comcast.net.

Troy, plagued by injuries and illnesses for the first half of the season, recovered to finish fourth in the talent-laden OAA Red Division. Since becoming full strength in mid-May, the Colts (14-6-3) have gone 9-0-1 in their last 10 games with nine straight wins going into Saturday finals against first-time state finalist Grandville.

Troy is no stranger to postseason success, playing in its 11th Final Four match in 20 years. The Colts are going for their first state title since 2003 and third overall including their first title back in 1994.

“We’ve got a lot of experience on this team. We have nine seniors that have played in over 70 games the past three years and I don’t know very many teams in the state that have played that many games,” offered Troy coach Brian Zawislak, who noted his team’s grand turnaround after a dismal start.

“I think the only group of people that thought we would be in the final is the group standing behind me,” continued Zawislak. “We were 4-6-3 (at the season’s mid-point). Our focus was getting better. We peaked at the right time. We’re just finding those little victories. We’ve been training for this moment for a year now. We wanted to get to this spot and we did.”

Troy had to use every bit of energy to slip past Rochester in a classic matchup. In fact, the Falcons, ranked seventh entering the postseason and the league runner-up, outshot Troy 10-8 throughout 80 minutes of regulation and two, 10-minute overtime periods. Rochester also held a 7-6 edge with shots directly on goal and a 6-1 edge on cornerkicks only to come up empty-handed in the end.

“The run was amazing,” sighed Rochester coach Cliff Brandmier added. “You don’t want to end it at the Final Four, but at the end of the day, just to get here, to beat (Rochester) Adams, down 2-0 with two minutes left in the second half (of the district finals) and scoring two goals in a minute and 40 seconds, is pretty exciting. And then being very collected and playing so well in regionals was fantastic. (This was an) unbelievable experience for the coaching staff and for the girls.”

Rochester, which was ranked for virtually the whole season, finished with a fine 19-3-5 record, the second-highest win total in school history. The Falcons were playing in their first Final Four since 2007 and their fourth in 19 years.

Rochester scored first with 35:48 left in the first half when senior Jenny Goethals fed the ball to junior Maddie Moote, who was left alone in front of the left side of the goal and deposited her shot past Holland and into the net.

The lead stood until there was 21:15 remaining in the first half when senior Madison Hirsch cashed in from 20 yards out on a lofting shot that snuck in above Rochester keeper Stephanie Heber.

The Seton Hall-bound Heber recorded five saves throughout 100 minutes of play and stopped one penalty kick in the shootout. Holland collected six saves during field play and two in the shootout for Troy.

Both goalies were sterling between the pipes and it took penalty kicks to decide the winner in a game featuring two of Michigan’s finest goalkeepers.

“After they leveled it… it was going to take a heck of a goal to really take a lead or we’re going to go to (a shootout),” added Brandmier. “I thought you could flip a quarter on who was going to win. It was that close.”

Troy senior Brittany Guitar, the Colts’ fifth shooter, sent a high shot towards the corner that deflected off Heber’s hands and into the corner of the goal, sending Troy back to the state finals.

Troy converted on its first, third, fourth and fifth shots in the shootout, while Rochester made its first, second and fifth attempts.

 

TROY IN POSTSEASON THE PAST 20 YEARS

2013: Still playing; State Finalist.

2012: State Runner-Up, lost to Okemos (2-0).

2011: State Runner-Up, lost to Novi (1-0).

2010: Regional Finalist, lost to Novi (1-0).

2009: Final Four, lost to Utica Eisenhower (3-2).

2008: Lost in districts.

2007: Lost in districts.

2007: Lost in districts.

2006: Lost in districts.

2005: Final Four, lost to Novi (5-0).

2004: Regional Semifinalist, lost to Grosse Pointe South (1-0).

2003: State Champions, defeated Brighton (2-1, 2OT).

2002: Final Four, lost to Saginaw Heritage (2-1).

2001: State Runner-Up, lost to Plymouth Canton (3-1).

2000: Final Four, lost to Troy Athens (2-1).

1999: Regional Finalist, lost to Grosse Pointe South (3-0).

1998: Lost in districts.

1997: Regional Finalist, lost to Rochester Adams (NA).

1996: State Runner-Up, lost to Plymouth Canton (2-0).

1995: Lost in districts.

1994: State Champions, defeated Brighton (3-2).

 

 

ROCHESTER GIRLS SOCCER — LONGEST POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT RUNS

2013: Final Four; lost to Troy (2-1, 2OT, shootout).

2007: State Runner-Up, lost to Novi (2-1).

2006: Regional Finalist, lost to Novi (1-0).

2004: Regional Finalist, lost to Grosse Pointe South (2-1, 2OT).

2002: Regional Finalist, lost to Troy (4-0).

1996: Regional Semifinalist, lost to Midland Dow (2-0).

1995: Final Four, lost to Birmingham Seaholm (2-0).

1994: Final Four, lost to Troy (2-1).

1987: Regional Semifinalist, lost to Troy Athens.

 

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About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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