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It's hard to top a hat trick in the regular season, let alone in a district game. Abby King made it look easy. Netting three goals in Grosse Ile's Division 3, District 37 semifinal win over Flat Rock, she thought about the second-act: Friday's district final against Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard. With the clock approaching the 60 minute mark and both teams deadlocked in a scoreless game, someone needed to step up. Only a freshman, King couldn't imagine it would've been her with the stakes on the line. But just as she's done all season for the Devils, King came through with the postseason on the line. Calling off Kate Tobin in front of Richard's penalty box, King ripped a kick past goaltender Lauren Yurko, pocketing the ball in the lower-right corner for the game-winning goal. Grosse Ile outlasted Richard 2-0 in 80, heart-pounding minutes to claim another district title. "I never pictured it like this. I didn't think about it," King said. "I just thought we'll go out, play hard, and see how it ends up. It was fun." Freshmen rarely experience a moment like King's. Many find themselves laboring their way up to varsity squads. If they do manage to earn the call in their first year of high school, a warm spot on the pine often awaits. But King isn't like most players, and Grosse Ile (19-0-2) isn't a typical, senior-driven soccer program. "The fact that a freshman feels comfortable enough to call off anyone to take the ball, and they trust her enough to back up…I think says a lot of what these seniors have created on this team, just that atmosphere of team," Grosse Ile Coach Amy Rossow said. "They're willing to do whatever it takes to win, and I can't complain about that at all." King was in eighth grade when Grosse Ile won its district title last spring. Her first year of high school has been "amazing," but Friday left her speechless. "My team has helped me feel like I'm not like the newbie," King said. "It's been great." Tobin missed her chance at finding the net when King calling for a pass. But with 1:06 remaining, the sophomore sealed the game for Grosse Ile, scoring off a breakaway. The goal of a rematch against Notre Dame Prep is still alive. But powerhouse Detroit Country Day stands in Grosse Ile's way in Tuesday's opening round of regionals. The two teams play at Farmington Hills Harrison High School at 7 p.m.. Dubbed the "region of death" by Rossow, her young Devils will need to step up in order to achieve that goal against teams perched near the top of state rankings. But youth has worked in Grosse Ile's favor. After 22 games, a zero remains in the team's loss column. "All everybody's been saying (is), 'Hey, they lost nine seniors last year,'" Rossow said. "They did a nice job coming back and, nine seniors or not, now there's 20 kids playing the game." King managed to top her hat trick with a game-winning goal to win her first district title on Friday. Whatever her next act is, it might not get much better than this. "(To score the game-winner) in the district finals, that was crazy," King said. "It was a great feeling."
Soccer - Girls
King's performance secures back-to-back district titles for Grosse Ile PHOTO GALLERY
Soccer - Girls - 5/30/2014 5:00 p.m.
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Last Updated: 5/31/2014 1:32:33 AM EST