MADISON HEIGHTS – Madison Heights Bishop Foley has a new girls’ soccer coach, a growing junior varsity program and a new attitude in Ventures Country.
“It’s my first year as varsity coach and I am really excited,” Bishop Foley coach A.J. Wells said Tuesday. “And it’s exciting having a JV team – it’s a step forward.”
Wells, who was a JV coach last season, takes over a soccer program that has won state championships in the past, but suffered through a season that garnered just a couple victories last year.
“The program has been down for a couple years, but Bishop Foley has such a good soccer tradition,” Wells said. “We won’t be down for long.”
Bishop Foley opened the season on Tuesday and played to a 0-0 tie with crosstown rival Royal Oak Shrine in a Catholic League crossover game.
“It’s good to get a game in,” Wells said Tuesday.
The Ventures brought up several junior varsity players for the game on Tuesday because Shrine does not have a JV program.
However, the Ventures will be led this season by senior tri-captains Rachel Sherman, Alexis Rushton and Lori Stolz.
Sherman did not play on Tuesday however Wells said she is expected back in time.
Jacki Johnson, a sophomore, is the Ventures’ starting goalkeeper. Johnson recorded a shutout on Tuesday.
Bishop Foley will also rely on freshman Jessica Russo, junior Dominque Gasso and freshman Jenna Landrith at the forward spot, while midfielders include Stolz and Ruston along with freshman Trina Muckle.
A “steady” and strong defense is led by junior Marianne Krause, freshman Annie O'Neil and sophomore Krista Bui, Wells said.
“Our captains are Sherman, Ruston and Stolz,” said Wells. “Rachel Sherman is injured and didn’t play (Tuesday) but she’ll be back.”
Well said his coaching philosophy revolves around “possession ball.”
“My style is possession-based and eliminating long balls,” Wells said. “We are a young team. We have five or six freshman that is good athletes and they are going to be great for our future. We can build on them to get back where we should be.”