River Kraus '22
Wednesday’s soccer match between the North and South girls teams was perfect weather for an early spring game in Michigan: 40 degrees Fahrenheit, sideways rain and gray skies the entire first half, causing many players to fall to the turf in cramps throughout the game.
This weather reflected the game in the first 40 minutes: slow-moving and low-intensity. South had a point-blank chance in the 27th minute from Marrin Harris ’23, but she hit it just over the crossbar. Despite only letting up one shot on goal, the lady Blue Devils spent most of the first half in their own half, fighting off the Norsemen’s attack.
“We said that we had to want it more,” Captain Libby Ebenhoeh ’23 said. “It was anyone’s game, so we had to take it.”
After the slow start to the match, both sides came out swinging in the second 40 minutes. South saw a pair of scoring chances when Olivia Dimuzio ’23 struck a 25-yard free-kick right over the bar in the 43rd minute, followed up 30 seconds later by a solid shot on goal by Lauren Carron, but was unfortunately saved by Norsemen goalkeeper Grace Mccormick ’23.
The Norsemen used that save to march down the field on a counterattack, where Norsemen midfielder Amelia Streberger ’24 hit an incredible shot from the corner of the 18-yard box. South goalkeeper Elsa Bachert got her hands on it, but was unable to keep it out of the net, as the Norsemen got on the board first to make it 1-0 with 35 minutes left in the match.
The blue devils didn’t let that stop them, though. Just a minute later, Lainey Morgan ’24 got behind the North defense, chipping the goalie on a 50/50 ball at the top of the box. Unfortunately for South, North defender Bella Stefanoff ’22 headed the ball away at the last possible second in a phenomenal defensive play.
But South pushed on. In the 51st minute, the Devils got the push they needed: Ava Pappas ’24 was able to find the back of the net to equalize it for the blue devils.
“Ava was playing out of her position, too” Coach Chris Bolio. “She did what she was supposed to, got in behind, and put it in the back of the net.”
The next 20 minutes saw a continuous back-and-forth between the two sides, where it seemed like every time South had a sustainable attack, North would flip the script with a counterattack that resulted in a legitimate scoring chance. With tensions heating up, and emotions rising, you could feel this game wasn’t going to end in a 1-1 draw.
It looked like the next goal would be for South, when Dimuzio hit her third rocket shot of the night, this one from 20 yards out in the 64th minute, but unfortunately, it sailed just right of the post.
It was the Norsemen that got on the board next. Amelia Streberger tallied her second goal of the night with five minutes left to go in the game. This one was an unbelievable top corner shot from 30 yards out. South was unable to equalize the score again, and so it ended in a 2-1 defeat for the Lady Blue Devils.
“The main focus after the game was keeping our heads up,” Bolio said. “Our first priority this year is winning a district title, and I think it’s definitely very feasible.”