Auburn Hills Avondale soccer coach Doug Steinard’s first inclination that his squad would be ready to compete with some of the best programs around came in the very first game.
“We played against (Rochester Hills) Stoney Creek. They’re my former school, and when we played them last year, I’m pretty sure we beat (Avondale) 8-1,” Steinard said, adding that he was the JV coach at Stoney last before taking over the Yellow Jackets. “This year, we lost 3-0 and there were two unlucky goals. We competed with Stoney. I knew right then that, if we can compete with them, we’re going to be able to compete in the (Oakland Activities Association) White Division.”
At press time, Avondale was 4-2 overall and 4-1 in the White, losing to Farmington High in a game that Steinard said his team controlled.
“I think we hit two crossbars and a post,” he said.
The coach said his team as hard-working and looking to improve. He added that it’s also willing to take on all challengers, as most of Avondale’s non-league games are against teams from the OAA Red.
“They’re excited, and it’s a big change for them. I think they’re having a lot of fun. (They) like playing the better teams, competing and playing good soccer,” he said. “It’s important to play teams that are better and bigger. When it comes to districts or even regionals, those are the teams that you’re going to be competing against.”
Steinard added that the team has done well possessing the ball. His offense is based on crisp passes that draw defenders in and then “hit the home run on them” with a long pass.
The coach added that the squad talks every day about winning its division and then a Division 2 district championship, something the Yellow Jackets haven’t done in a “long, long time,” according to the coach.
In order to win the district, they’ll have to get by defending champion Bloomfield Hills Marian.
“We would love to do that,” he said. “(But) if we’re getting better every day, I’m happy.”