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Red Devils rout Rams to secure spot in district finals PHOTO GALLERY

  • Caroline Fleming celebrates her second goal against Flat Rock in the girl's soccer District 37-3 semifinals. Fleming was one of three Grosse Ile girls with at least two goals against the Rams in an 8-0 victory. Photo gallery by Ricky Lindsay.
Third time isn't always the charm in sports. But for the Grosse Ile girl's soccer team in the Division 3, District 37 semifinals, it was more than enough.

In nearly 50 minutes of play, the Red Devils routed the Rams 8-0 in the third meeting between the two teams this season. Freshman Abby King scored a hat trick, while sophomores Caroline Fleming and Kate Tobin netted two goals each.

"It's hard to play a team three times and you always look for that screwup, because Flat Rock has such talent," Grosse Ile Coach Amy Rossow said. "They can come back, they can do whichever way."

At the 8:14 mark in the first half, Fleming connected with Tobin on an inbound pass for a header. Fleming found the net herself two minutes later on a penalty kick.

The sophomore star bolted past defenders on a breakaway to net her second goal with 27:58 remaining in the first half.

Nearly 20 minutes into the game and with a cluster of players battling for position in front of Flat Rock's net, King stood tall, striking for her first goal. She would add to that total with 2:55 remaining in the first half after a hard kick ricocheted of the keeper's gloves and into the net.

Wedged between King's first and second goals, Tobin used her head once more as Grosse Ile pulled away from the Rams.

"Kate (Tobin) is very good because she does a lot of set up," Rossow said. "So even if she doesn't have the stats, she's always involved in those kinds of goals."

Lack of depth doomed Flat Rock this season. With 19 players on its roster including five freshmen the Rams finished the season 5-9-2, 4-6-2.

"We took it to the teams we knew we could compete with and we did the best we could with the teams like Grosse Ile that are very skilled and very deep."

King completed the hat trick 45 seconds into the second half. Junior Megan Hickey's goal with 31:49 remaining put the mercy rule in effect.

Flat Rock is graduating eight seniors, but has 11 players returning with varsity experience.

"Some of the seniors we do have, they've been here a while, so it's going to be tough replacing them," he said. I'm hoping we're building something."

Grosse Ile advances to Friday's district finals, where it will play host to Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard at 5:00 p.m.. Rossow's father and assistant coach was in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, scouting Richard's 4-1 semifinal victory over Cabrini.

"We've seen Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard play already against Woodhaven, an opponent we know, and we've seen Cabrini," Rossow said. "So we have a basic idea. Now we can see how they play against each other."

Rossow said her girls are starting to follow the reports compiled on future opponents with their play on the field.

"They're trying to work on things to do," she said. "They're listening to scouting reports and they're trying to execute it on the field. That's a hard for kids to do period, let alone freshmen, sophomores, and everything."

An hour drive separates Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard and Grosse Ile. Hosting Friday's district final between the two schools provides the Red Devils with home field advantage.

"Oh, heck yeah. It helps a lot," Rossow said. The less travel we do on the bus, we always play better."

Grosse Ile needed less than 50 minutes to breeze past Flat Rock. Additional, unexpected rest can either help or harm a team in the long run, but Rossow said this year's team has been able to retain focus each game. After all, the Red Devils boast a zero in the loss column.

Come Friday, Rossow hopes the trend continues for Grosse Ile to claim district hardware.

"They've done it 22 times so far, so I'm hoping they do it 23," Rossow said.

Last Updated: 5/29/2014 12:28:56 PM EST

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