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Carlson freshman Athena Grias contributes to shutout in debut game PHOTO GALLERY

  • The Carlson Marauders braved the cold and started their season off on the right foot by shutting out visiting Edsel Ford 3-0 on Wednesday night. Photos by Jake Newby


You can’t play a much stronger game than freshman goalkeeper Athena Grias played on Wednesday night in Gibraltar, her first game as a high school varsity soccer player.



Grias, who attended Shumate Middle School, started for the Carlson Marauders in the team’s opening game of the season against Edsel Ford and played a key role in their 3-0 victory.



The freshman stopped eight of Edsel Ford’s nine shots, including six in the first half, before being replaced by junior Bethany Flores at the 7:25 mark of the second half.



Carlson Coach Steve Briggs said that he is excited about both Grias and Flores this year and hasn’t quite decided who has the leg up in the goalkeeper competition at this point. That’s mainly why he wanted both girls to get some playing time in the first game.



“They’re both very skilled, I had to have both of them on my varsity roster, that’s for sure,” Briggs said.



Although Briggs said that Grias, along with Flores, has her flaws and tends to be inconsistent, he couldn’t deny her skill set and potential as a goalkeeper.



“At tryouts I told her she needed to communicate more, which she did more of in that first game,” Briggs said. “But she just has a Marauder presence about her. Athena can see the field, she trains well, and she’s very well refined.



“Her skills really show up in game action,” Briggs said. “She’s a little timid because she’s so young, but she really steps out on to the field and brings it.”



Grias certainly had no problem communicating during her time as a goalie for the Rush Soccer Club, a Michigan traveling team that she played on prior to high school.



Current Allen Park girls’ soccer coach and Carlson graduate Justin Hunter trained Grias personally over the past couple years and said she played with a lot of confidence and passion.



“She just really loves the game and it shines through when she’s on the field,” Hunter said. “I think she’s going to do some great things. She’s my little prodigy.”



The next crack at high school game experience Grias will get will be when the Marauders host Bedford on Wednesday. Briggs said he hasn’t yet decided on who will start in goal that game, but if it is Grias, she’ll carry a perfect .1000 save percentage into the contest.



Last Updated: 3/26/2014 9:55:43 PM EST

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