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SEASON PREVIEW: Top Teams and players for 2017 WITH PHOTO GALLERY

  • Emmelyn DeConinck, Birmingham Marian
  • Samantha Ferry, Bloomfield Hills
  • Nadia Burbank, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
  • Ashley Leonard, Troy Athens
  • Dagny Hill, Detroit Country Day
  • Maria Kaschalk, Birmingham Marian
  • Isabel Nino, Detroit Country Day
  • Victoria Lucido, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian
  • Ryiann Owusu, Rochester Adams
  • Hallie Robinson, Royal Oak Shrine
  • Dani Wolfe, Walled Lake Northern
  • Emily Solek, Stoney Creek
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Scroll through some of the images from the action around Oakland County thus far in the 2017 season.
  • Ellie DeConinck, Birmingham Marian

Last year was a strong year for Oakland County girls soccer. Local teams were loaded with talent. All the leagues were deep, highly competitive, and featured title races that went down to the very end. The postseason provided more excitement as Stoney Creek (Division 1) and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (Division 2) each captured their first state championship and several other local teams went deep in the playoffs. This year looks to be more of the same. Not only do Stoney Creek and Notre Dame Prep return many of their top players, but several other schools look poised to challenge them.

Top Teams

Birmingham Marian – The Mustangs are a perennial powerhouse, and this year should be no different. Last year’s team made it all the way to the state semifinals before losing to eventual champion Pontiac Notre Dame Prep. Marian returns First Team All-Staters Ellie DeConinck and Maria Kaschalk. With early season wins over Warren Regina, Farmington Mercy, and Detroit Country Day, Birmingham Marian has picked up right where they left off last year and should make another deep run.

Bloomfield Hills – It was the Black Hawks who won the ultra-competitive OAA Red last year. Bloomfield Hills graduated just five players last year and will return an experienced team to defend their title. Led offensively by the versatile Sam Ferry, who was Third Team All-State last year, Bloomfield Hills should once again be in the mix for the division championship.

North Farmington – Since ascending into the OAA Red two years ago, the Raiders have been near the top of the standings, finishing second last year. North Farmington returns virtually all of last year’s team including two Honorable Mention All-State players in forward Olivia Elby and goalkeeper Patil Tcholokian. Expect them to be in the mix again this year in the tough OAA Red.

Novi – The Wildcats made a deep run in last year’s playoffs, losing a shootout in the state semifinals to Stoney Creek. Novi lost several key seniors but should still return enough talent to be tough again this year.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep – Last year’s Division 2 State Champions return several starters led by center defender Nadia Burbank. Add in senior captains Eileen Haig and Payton Williams and the Fighting Irish have a backline as skilled and experienced as any around. Celia Gaynor will lead the offense for Notre Dame Prep as they look to defend their title. A playoff collision against Marian seems likely.

Rochester Adams – Adams will be stout again defensively led by senior defender Ryiann Owusu who was Second Team All-State last year. Offensively, the Highlanders will be led by junior midfielder Hailey Wentzloff. Adams won their OAA Red opener over Bloomfield Hills and looks to be yet another team in contention for the OAA Red crown.

Stoney Creek – The Division 1 State Champions return three All –State performers from last year’s squad including First Team forward Emily Solek, forward Isabella Langush, and goalkeeper Gina Cierny. The OAA Red is once again loaded with tough teams, but the Cougars have to be the favorites after last year’s playoff run. Stoney Creek is loaded with talent and should be one of the two or three best teams around.

Troy Athens – The Red Hawks have made two straight trips to the regional finals and return plenty of talent, including seven starters, as they look to take the next step. Dream Team forward Ashley Leonard who led the team with 17 goals last year is back to pace the attack. The Red Hawks also have a talented group of newcomers and should be tough as usual.

Walled Lake Northern – One of the most consistent teams around, the Lady Knights just win games. Northern has won three KLAA North titles in the last four years and returns plenty of offensive talent again this year headed by last year’s freshman sensation Dani Wolfe who earned Second Team All-State honors. Northern is off to a bit of a slow start this year, but this team is too talented for that to last.

Others to watch: Rochester is young, but senior Gabby Gilmore is an offensive force. And the Falcons will only get better as the season goes along. They’ll be tough come playoff time. The OAA White is full of talented teams and new coaches. Clarkston is off to a good start under new coach Damian Huffer and has plenty of talent. Goaltender Kristen Page is committed to Adrian and will keep the Wolves in games until their finishing catches up with their possession game. Oxford is the team no one ever talks about in the OAA White, but the Wildcats are an experienced team that finished second in the division last year and will likely be one of the better teams in the division again this year. Berkley finished tied for third in the White last year and coach Cliff Brandmier returns to lead the Bears. This is Brandmier’s second stint in charge of the Bears, and it looks to be off to a successful start. Lake Orion is competing in the OAA Blue this year, and new coach Chris Corteg has the Dragons roaring early, including a win over Rochester. The Dragons’ toughest challenge in OAA Blue will likely come from Birmingham Seaholm. The Maples finished second in the division last year, and coach Manuel Rodrigues thinks he has his deepest team ever.

In the KLAA North, both Walled Lake Central and Waterford Mott look poised to challenge Northern for the division crown. Both teams finished just behind the Lady Knights last year and are off to hot starts. Midfielder Amanda Britain leads Central, who knocked off Walled Lake Northern to open division play. Mott’s offense is paced by junior Hannah Crum. The Corsairs remain unbeaten at 5-0.

Among the Division 3 and Division 4 schools, keep an eye on Clawson. The Trojans return a stout defense from last year’s district champions anchored by defender Jill Smigels and goalkeeper Macy Williams, both of whom were Honorable Mention All-State last year. Clawson will be the favorite in the MAC Gold. Royal Oak Shrine will try to defend their CHSL C-D crown from last year. The Lady Knights return many of their key players, most notably junior midfielder Hallie Robinson. Robinson is a dynamic offensive player and one of the best kept secrets in Oakland County despite being First Team All-State last year.

Players to Watch:

Nadia Burbank, defender, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep – Burbank is the anchor of the Notre Dame defense. There are few players that can dominate a game without getting near the opponent’s goal. Burbank is one of them.

Ellie DeConinck, forward, Birmingham Marian – DeConinck had 14 goals and 18 assists, earning First Team All-State as well as All Catholic honors last year. She’s also a big game player and will be looked to again to help Marian make another deep playoff run.

Samantha Ferry, midfield/forward, Bloomfield Hills – Ferry was listed as a “field player” in last year’s All-State team. It’s as good of a description as any for someone with her versatility. She plays several offensive minded positions, but wherever she is, the ball just seems to find her.

Dagny Hill, midfielder, Detroit Country Day – Hill might be the most versatile player in the county. Officially listed as a midfielder, she can move up or back as needed and will be a key part of any success that Country Day has this year.

Maria Kaschalk, defense, Birmingham Marian – Kaschalk was an All Catholic selection and a First Team All-State selection. She anchors the defense for the Mustangs, but she can also get forward when needed and add to the attack making her a two-way threat.

Ashley Leonard, forward, Troy Athens – Leonard was on the All-State Dream Team last year. She’s an all-around forward that can do a bit of everything up top and has been the top scoring threat for the Red Hawks the last two years. This year will be no different.

Victoria Lucido, forward, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian – Lucido set the school record for goals as a sophomore and had another big year last year as a junior when she was once again First Team All-State. Now a senior, she will once again be the top offensive threat for the Lady Lancers as they look to get back the MIAA crown.

Isabel Nino, goalkeeper, Detroit Country Day – The best goalkeeper in the county, she’s headed to the University of Michigan next year. She’s an intimidating presence in net, athletic, and skilled. She can do pretty much everything as a keeper.

Ryiann Owusu, defender, Rochester Adams – Owusu is the anchor for the Highlander defense. She marks some of the best players in the county day in and day out and does it as well as anyone.

Hallie Robinson, midfielder, Royal Oak Shrine – Robinson was First Team All-State as a sophomore last year. She is creative and skilled, pulling the strings for Shrine in midfield and directing the attack. She was a bit of a secret last year, but she’s too good for that to last.

Emily Solek, forward, Stoney Creek – Solek was First Team All-State last year and averaged a point a game in the playoffs during their state title run. Now a senior, Solek will be a key cog in Stoney Creek’s defense of their state title.

Dani Wolfe, forward, Walled Lake Northern – Wolfe is only a sophomore and already committed to the University of Michigan. She was Second Team All-State last year. Wolfe is fast with or without the ball and very creative. The Lady Knights are a deep team, and Wolfe will be looking to lead them deep into the playoffs.

Last Updated: 4/17/2017 1:59:42 PM EST


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