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For the past six years, the Woodhaven girls’ soccer team has stood atop league standings, champion of both the Mega Red and the Downriver League, the only team to ever win the DRL since it was formed.

Over the years, while one of the dominant teams in the area, the Warriors have taken their fair share of losses, but this year was different.

Woodhaven was knocked out of the MHSAA state playoffs last week, with a tough loss to Saline.

However, once the bitter taste was swallowed, the Warriors could look back on what was a uniquely special season.

Heading into the district semifinal matchup on May 29, the Warriors were completely undefeated.

The team took an 18-0-2 (11-0 Downriver League) record into the post season, not even losing in any of the tournaments they participated in.

The record was more impressive as the team was under a new coach this season.

But being undefeated, was not a big time goal for Woodhaven .

“We never set a win record,” Coach Scott Hoye said. “It’s nice to have that, but it wasn’t a goal after we talked about them.”

Instead, Woodhaven focused on the technical details of the game.

“For the most part, the biggest thing we talked about was ball possession and not playing more of a running style,” Hoye said. “We wanted the ball 65 percent or more.

“We figured from there on out that would take care of the rest. Our defense would become better and our overall communication on the field would become better.”

The team’s parents helped ensure the team would face some challenges over the season.

“At the end of last year, some of the parents of the seniors took it upon themselves to get Ladywood and Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard on the schedule, which helped us tremendously,” Hoye said. “We had Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard at the end of the year. We made quite a few mistakes and we were lucky to come out ahead (but) they pushed us to play with should help us with distrits.

“Garden City, they put a lot of pressure on us and helped us play better too.”

Heading into the one-and-done districts week, Hoye knew the possibility of a loss was always on the horizon.

“It’s not about the win-loss record,” he said. “We want to make sure that we’re playing better soccer.”

Hoye knew almost immediately that his group would be a special one this season.

“I would say (I knew) right away,” he said. “It was pretty obvious from the get go we had a special group that were very talented (and) they only got better as the year developed

“The girls fought through the cold (at the beginning) and the work ethic they put in, we’re definitely a solid club.”

Several players stood out for Hoye throughout the year, both young and old.

“I was very impressed with what Allison Manning gave to the team,” he said of his senior star. “She didn’t worry about her overall goals turning into 100 goals.

“Abbey Lorenz played solid all year and freshman wise, Katlyn Varney came in and she’s a very strong players and will only get better as time goes on.”

The list didn’t stop there.

“Kerstyn William was one that we count on big time and defensively Anja Plaumann has taken a step back and not worried about her stats.

“Her overall soccer IQ and how well she plays infield; she anchors the back line and she’s a perfect leader back there.”

With the season now in the books, Hoye can now reflect on just how special of a year it was with his squad.

“I can’t get much luckier than I got this year,” he said. “They’re extremely fueled and they’re extremely tight with each other.

“They’re great leaders, they’re not negative people; they’re definitely harder on themselves than other people around them. And they’re great teammates.”

Last Updated: 6/5/2014 8:04:46 PM EST