GIRLS SOCCER: Rochester Adams explodes in second half to oust Stoney Creek | North Oakland Sports

GIRLS SOCCER: Rochester Adams explodes in second half to oust Stoney Creek

| May 31, 2018 | Comments (0)



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ROCHESTER HILLS — Josh Hickey gave an inspirational speech at halftime Thursday to his Rochester Adams girls soccer team.

Apparently, the Highlanders were listening — especially Hailey Wentzloff.

The Grand Valley State-bound senior midfielder scored two second-half goals and 18th-ranked Adams withstood Rochester Stoney Creek’s ample chances in ousting the Cougars, 3-0, in a Division 1 district semifinal at Rochester High.

“Coach really wanted us, the (experienced) players, to step up and we did,” said Wentzloff, who was All-State Third Team as a junior. “We know it’s win or go home and we didn’t want to go home. And they beat us last year (in the districts). We really wanted this game.”

Stoney Creek actually held a 15-9 shots advantage in the contest, including 6-5 with shots on frame, but could not find the back of the net for the second time against OAA Red Division champion Adams. The Highlanders also defeated Stoney Creek 1-0 two weeks ago.

While the Cougars (13-6-2) struggled to find the back of the net, Wentzloff did not. She scored her 20th goal of the campaign with 27:04 remaining in the contest off a high free kick from just outside the corner of the penalty box.

Wentzloff made it a lucky 21 tallies with 23:52 left when she deposited a breakaway feed from junior Ashlyn Koby.

“At halftime I told them that this game was going to go down to finishing,” said Adams coach Josh Hickey. “I told them that we needed our best players to step up and make a difference. I thought they did that. Haley Wentzloff played like a senior who did not want her season to end. This was an even game, back and forth. We finished chances in the second half and that really was the difference. Stoney Creek is a very good team and that’s a team that won’t be moving on. This is such a tough district and you need your best players to rise up to the occasion. I think we did that in the second half.”

Stoney Creek applied plenty of pressure late and took a gamble in holding just three defensemen back. The Highlanders capped the scoring with 22.8 seconds remaining when senior Ava Bronzetti corralled a pass from Koby and scored on a breakaway.

Freshman Maddie Dolenga made six saves for her team’s 14th shutout of the season.

“She’s been really solid all season, but really good tonight,: said Hickey of Dolenga. “She made some really big saves and we also had a defender clear one off the goal line.”

Scoring goals has been an Achilles heel for Stoney Creek in recent weeks.

“That’s what is so frustrating. We create chances. We had plenty tonight,” sighed Stoney Creek coach Bryan Mittelstadt, whose program won a state title two years ago. “It was a good game. Adams finished their opportunities and we did not. That really is the difference. This was similar to when they beat us 1-0 a little earlier. We had plenty of chances in that game as well. We struggled to score against state-ranked teams all season.”

Adams (18-4-2) will face 11th-ranked Utica Eisenhower at 12 noon Saturday in the district finals at Rochester. The Highlanders last captured a district title in 2016 while the Highlanders lost in the district championship match back in 2013.

Eisenhower defeated Adams 2-1 back in early April.

“They are good — very good,” said Hickey. “They have to very good forwards. We’re going to come up with a great game plan in stopping them.”

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