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Macomb Township

April 2, 2014

LCN girls soccer looking for league, district titles

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The Macomb L’Anse Creuse North freshman striker Nicolette Vultaggio, left, is pictured during a March 28 match against Macomb Dakota.

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb L’Anse Creuse North girls soccer coach Scott Boice said his team is looking to improve on a daily basis.

Boice said that desire to get better comes from how the season has ended for the Crusaders the past two years.

LCN has advanced to two straight district finals, both of which ended with losses. Boice said he and his players were also disappointed in their fifth-place finish in the seven-team Macomb Area Conference White Division. Moving up in the league standings is one of the goals he and his players have discussed early on.

“We have improved from last season,” said Boice, whose team sat at 1-0-2, 1-0-0 MAC White at press time. “I am pleased so far with how we’re playing as a team on defense. Our offense has been a work in progress, and we are currently spending time on that in practice. We have had opportunities (to score) but have not been able to finish as many as we should have.

“We’re running a new formation, and the team is working hard to learn it. If we keep defending well, our offensive opportunities will come.”

There should be great continuity with the group, as LCN returns 16 of 21 players. Boice said the team will not rely too heavily on one group this season. He said junior goalkeeper Sydney Zablocki provides stability in net, and so far — a scrimmage and three matches — the team has not allowed a goal.

“So it may seem like we will be depending on (goalkeeping); however, our attack has had a lot of opportunities, and now we need to finish those chances.”

Boice said the team must be balanced to be successful. He said LCN must be able to transition from its defense to attack to catch opposing teams off-guard and switch the point of attack to expose open space on the field.

“We believe we’ll be able to attack and defend at a high standard once we get (deeper) into the season,” Boice said.

Boice is counting on sophomore striker Nicolette Vultaggio,  senior midfielder Carson Janssen, sophomore defender Kayla Roodbeen, junior defender Paige Thompson, junior midfielder Ashley Johnson, senior midfielder Tori Koontz and junior midfielder Miranda Oleksiak to contribute.

“Over the past three years, there have been great strides made, with current players improving and an influx of new players to varsity every year,” Boice said.

The team will need to keep making those strides if it is going to stay in the race for the MAC White title. Anchor Bay and Fraser have each won two MAC White titles over the past four years. LCN last won the MAC White in 2009.

Boice said coaches within the league are beginning to find ways to make things difficult for the Tars and Ramblers. For a new team to take over in the division, it will have to match Anchor Bay and Fraser’s talent, and take away the things each team likes to do on the field.

“The teams in the White have improved, and there are no easy wins for any (team),” Boice said. “The MAC White is the best division in the (33-team) MAC.” On March 24, the White Division played four games against the Red Division and went 3-0-1.

“I think we’ll be able to compete for the MAC White title. It is so important in girls soccer that the team works together and likes playing for each other. We want to compete for (a division title) and hope to finally finish with a win in a district-title game.”

The Crusaders next hit the field for a matchup against Madison Heights Lamphere, set for 7 p.m. April 16 at LCN.