Birmingham Marian HS's Page All Soccer - Girls Stories

Soccer - Girls

Birmingham Marian rallies in second half to capture Division 2 state title WITH PHOTO GALLERY

Can not load XML: XML document must have a top level element. No resultsCan not load XML: XML document must have a top level element. No results

The Mustangs completed a perfect 24-0 season with a 2-1 win Friday.

Game Info

Soccer - Girls - 6/16/2017 

Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 1
Birmingham Marian 2
>> View more scores

Related Articles

>> View more news

WILLIAMSTON — With the pressure mounting to live up to year-long expectations and avoid the laments of seasons past, Birmingham Marian coolly responded with two goals in the second half to capture the Division 2 state championship Friday, defeating Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, 2-1.

Having given up the game’s first goal midway through the opening half, Marian found itself trailing for the first time all season long, but coach Barry Brodsky said he could find little fault in the way his team had performed at halftime, coming agonizingly close on a handful of early chances.

“Usually at halftime I come over and say, ‘We gotta do this, we gotta do that.’ Today, I said ‘I’ve got nothing,’” Brodsky said, recapping his halftime speech. “We were frustrated. We played great in the first half, but we didn’t knock one in. A lot of times that comes back to haunt you when you don’t score. It’s a credit to the girls who kept working at it. They were fabulous and they played great.”

Mustangs senior Ellie DeConinck tallied both goals for her team, the first which tied the game just 75 seconds into the second half and later notched the eventual game-winner with 20:07 remaining.

“You’ve got to have some luck with you and that goal by Ellie in the second half, that got us off the schneid and let us relax,” Brodsky said.

Marian’s victory Friday capped off an unblemished season with a 24-0 record and the program’s first state title since 2012. The team that began the season ranked No. 1 maintained its position to the end, surrendering just nine goals all year long.

Forest Hills Northern, last season’s runner-up in Division 2 as well, was on its heels defensively from the opening kick, as Marian’s attack was denied by the narrowest of margins numerous times.

The Huskies (20-1-3) took a 1-0 lead with 16 minutes to go in the first half after a sideline throw-in was steered toward the net for Addie Brown to fire just under the crossbar.

Undeterred, DeConinck knotted the score 1-1 early in the second half after rushing in to boot home the unattended ball after it had skittered free from a flurry in front of the net.

Eighteen minutes later, the Mustangs took the lead when freshman Anna Leonard made a key play in sliding along the turf to chip the ball to DeConinck, whose hard shot powered through a partial deflection into the net.

“It was the first goal in the state tournament we’d given up and I was really proud of how our team responded,” DeConinck said. “It’s how you respond to adversity that makes a team. Our team responded phenomenally.”

DeConinck is one of four seniors along with Maria Kaschalk, Olivia Zardus and Elaina Eckert that were members of 2014 Marian team that reached the finals and lost the title game by a goal.

“It feels incredible. We had been pushing for it all year and it’s an amazing feeling to win it this time,” Eckert said. “There was never any doubt. We just always believed we would come back and win it.”

The Mustangs have now won six Division 2 championships in school history, each coming since 2002 with Brodsky at the helm. At halftime, the veteran coach said he told his players they could be the first Marian team to come from behind to win a state title.

“The girls have asked me what is my favorite championship, and the answer is ‘the next one,’” Brodsky said. “This year’s group was obviously special. To be down and come back, it’s just the best thing.”

Last Updated: 6/16/2017 7:47:38 PM EST

blog comments powered by Disqus