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Grosse Ile bows out of state playoffs with first loss of season PHOTO GALLERY

  • Senior Emma Miclaughlin attempts to complete a pass to freshman Abby King during Grosse Ile's Division 3, Region 10 semifinal against Country Day. The Red Devils fell to the Hornets 4-0. Photo Gallery by Ricky Lindsay.
As Grosse Ile took the field for warmups at Harrison High School before the Division 3, Regional 10 semifinals, the opponent it longed for since last June strolled onto the black, rubbery track outside the North end zone.



One-by-one, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's players exited the beige brick locker room, gently wiping tears streaming down their flush faces.



The Red Devils' hopes of a third-consecutive regional-final matchup against the Irish faded away moments before their game began. Notre Dame Prep's season fizzled away with a 3-0 loss to Flint Powers Catholic.



Nearly two hours later, so did Grosse Ile's.



The Red Devils (19-1-2) failed to fully recover after suffering early setbacks, falling to Country Day 4-0 in Tuesday's regional semifinals.



"It took us 40 minutes that first half to get adjusted to the pace of the game, and then at least we came out and tried to play the same game we've played all season in the second half," Grosse Ile Coach Amy Rossow said. "When you have competition like this, every mistake costs you. And every mistake we made today cost us with a goal in the back of the net."



Freshman Lauren Alshab scored Country Day's first goal 5:17 into the game after splitting Aubrey Fleming and Alyson Lemerand on a breakaway. Just over two minutes later, sophomore Michelle Manning found the net to solidify an early 2-0 lead.



Early struggles paired with minimal scoring opportunities marked unchartered territory for the Red Devils.



"Through the beginning of the season, we were able to make mistakes and recover," Rossow said. "They just had to flip that mental switch and say, 'Gotta do it the first time.' We've been under pressure certain times during the season, not as much as we did tonight, and they just finally said, 'OK, we got to do what we say we have to do.'"



Grosse Ile began to lock down defensively, holding the Hornets scoreless for over 50 minutes. Following halftime adjustments, scoring opportunities arose for the Red Devils. But as before, they failed to result in points.



With 19:06 remaining in the game, Manning fed senior Jessica Carr in front of the net to pad Country Day's modest lead. Nearly three minutes later, senior Katie Krushena's goal sealed the victory.



Midway through the second half, Grosse Ile junior Nicole DeSana collided with a defender near the 50-yard line. She limped out of the game and was seen on the bench with elastic bandaging wrapped around her knee. The early results are looking less grim than it could've been, according to Rossow.



"Right now, they think all she did was pop her kneecap out," Rossow said. "So it's better. It's not the dreaded CL — MCL, ACL type of thing….Someone's going to be busy tomorrow at the doctor."



Grosse Ile returns 18 players with another year of regional experience under their belts. Olivia Koklanaris and Emma Miclaughlin are the lone seniors on the team.



Tuesday's loss to Country Day was the Red Devils first — and only — of the season, making the sting of defeat a tad more tolerable.



"When you lose to a team of this quality and this type of caliber, there's nothing to be ashamed of as long as they played hard and tried to play their game as they went through," Rossow said. "That's what we asked and that's what they did."

Last Updated: 6/3/2014 11:59:05 PM EST

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