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Avondale's Madison Duncan is easy to coach WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - Dave Pemberton).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan (13) in action against Lutheran High Northwest earlier this season, is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - file photo).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan (13) in action against Lutheran High Northwest earlier this season, is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - file photo).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan (13) in action against Lutheran High Northwest earlier this season, is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - file photo).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan (13) in action against Lutheran High Northwest earlier this season, is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - file photo).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan (13) in action against Lutheran High Northwest earlier this season, is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - file photo).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan (13) in action against Lutheran High Northwest earlier this season, is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - file photo).
  • Auburn Hills Avondale's Madison Duncan (13) in action against Lutheran High Northwest earlier this season, is a four-year varsity player and has committed to Louisiana. (The Oakland Press - file photo).
Auburn Hills Avondale coach Doug Steinard says his job is easy. Steinard took over as the Yellow Jackets coach last season and the adjustment went smooth with the help of Avondale’s star player Madison Duncan.

“She’s made it so easy for me to come in and adjust, and play a different style of soccer than they played here in the past,” Steinard said. “Everything that I needed her to do, she would do. There’s no question, she would never complain. She works hard. She’s a great leader for these girls. It makes it super easy as a coach to have somebody that is almost like a player coach.”

Duncan has been on varsity for four years and has 34 goals and 27 assists during her career, including 11 goals and nine assists so far this season.

She started off her career as a forward as a freshman and has played midfield the last two seasons for Steinard.

“When she’s on the field she’s usually one of the best players out there,” Steinard said. “But she’s not a super selfish girl. There are times when I want her to more selfish than she is. But she’s really good at setting up the other girls. She’s a great leader on the field, very positive all of the time. We’re young and I think a lot of the girls look up to her. She knows she’s good, but she’s not the look at me, look at me type of girl. She’s very humble.

“She has a great first touch, phenomenal first touch. Great vision. One v one, I’d put her up against anyone in the state. She’s great one v one. She’s very creative with the ball. She finds seams very well for a girls to run on to. I think she’s probably a true forward, but I got to play her at attacking mid because we need her to have the ball to set girls up or to look to score.”

Duncan says balancing between when she looks to score and when she looks to set up a teammate is fairly easy. She just goes with the best option to score and doesn’t think twice.

“It’s sort of the idea that you always first look to score and then if you can’t you look for the next pass, the next person who is available to score,” Duncan said. “Sometimes there are times when I think, ‘Yeah I can take a shot,’ but somebody has a better angle so of course I’m going to lay it off to them and have them take the shot.”

Duncan’s co-captain senior Madi Donaghy said her and Duncan have tried to lighten things up with some jokes this season and the two have grown close off the field. They went on spring break together and built some lasting memories.

“I think she’s super positive and super encouraging,” Donaghy said of Duncan. “She tells a lot of funny jokes. I think her level of play challenges the other people that are playing with her.”

Duncan has signed with Louisiana to play in college, but hasn’t let the scholarship go to her head. She still works just as hard, if not harder.

“I feel like this is my final season so I want to make it one to remember,” Duncan said. “I do want to prepare myself for college too because it’s something I want to succeed in and I’m very excited to play at that level.”

Duncan’s unselfish attitude and leadership has helped Avondale adjust to moving up to the OAA Red, one of the toughest leagues from top to bottom in the state.

The Yellow Jackets will likely finish in third place in the OAA Red behind only Stoney Creek and Rochester Adams, both ranked teams in Division 1.

Avondale (8-4-3) is ranked No. 10 in Division 2 and its four losses are to ranked teams.

But the team in the back of Duncan’s mind is Birmingham Marian.

The Marian Mustangs have traditionally been a thorn in Avondale’s side and will once again be in the same district in the state playoffs.

Duncan considers defeating Marian her freshman year to be her most memorable moment with Avondale.

The first-round district game went to a shootout. Duncan took the first shot and helped set the tone with a goal as Avondale went on to win.

“I remember that team was so pumped up and I didn’t understand the rivalry there yet because it was my freshman year,” Duncan said. “I remember I had to take the first penalty kick as a freshman. I remember shaking as I went up there and hit it. And then after we all dogpiled and celebrated. It just kind of showed me what it was like to be a part of the team.”

Getting past Marian was a huge feat for Avondale, but unfortunately for the Yellow Jackets they fell in the next round to Madison Heights Lamphere and never captured that elusive district title.

Duncan missed most of her sophomore year with an injury and Marian defeated Avondale in the second round on its way to the Division 2 state championship in 2012.

Last season, the Mustangs defeated the Yellow Jackets 3-0 in the first round of districts on their way to reaching the Division 2 state finals.

Marian is unbeaten this season and ranked No. 1 in Division 2. Avondale knows the district championship likely runs through Marian once again.

“Obviously in our district we’re going to see Marian and we know Marian is one of the better teams in the state,” Steinard said.

Duncan says the team is staying positive and if they run into Marian they will be ready.

“I know we are going in there with our hearts in it,” Duncan said. “We want to win so we’re going to go out there and play our butts off, and hope for a good outcome.”

Last Updated: 5/15/2014 2:05:20 AM EST

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