Grosse Pointe South’s girls soccer season has came to an end, after being defeated by Anchor Bay 1-0 in overtime in a regional semifinal matchup June 5, at host school Grosse Pointe North.
Although the season may have ended sooner than he would have liked, South coach Gene Harkins expressed appreciation over what his squad was able to accomplish during the season, which included a Division 1 district championship.
“We played really hard all year,” he said of his team’s effort. “We played as a unit. The team overall played very well throughout the whole year. We did win our district. I thought we played very well in that game (the regional semifinal).”
Harkins is optimistic his team can come back strong next season.
“Our team really believed we could have had a chance to go all the way, and I’m sure we do next year, because I have like seven returning starters coming back.”
Anastasia Diamond, Elizabeth Clevenger, Lindsey Makos, Gabby Nguyen, Chelsea Marsh and Claire Deboer were South’s senior representatives.
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Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett has also been eliminated from the postseason, as Clarkston Everest Collegiate/Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes defeated the Knights 4-1 in a Division 4 regional final matchup June 7 at Madison Heights Bishop Foley.
Liggett coach David Dwaihy acknowledged all the great things that the Knights accomplished, including winning a district title for the first time in what he thinks has been five or six years.
“I think we kind of came into this game feeling like we already had a really successful year — a lot to feel good about,” he said. “Going up against the top team in the state, we knew there was a good chance it wasn’t (going to) go very well, but I feel really good about how we played. They deserve to be that top-ranked team; they’re really impressive. We have a good core of girls coming back next year, so there’s a lot to be excited about in the future. We won our conference (Michigan Independent Athletic Conference) and we won the district, so it’s been a really good year for us.”
Dwaihy acknowledged the role his seniors (Elizabeth Ottosen, Eleni Pitses, Ariana Castillo and Ashley Webster) played in their last season for the Knights.
“They were instrumental in our success,” he said. “Off and on the field, they’re incredible leaders — some quiet, some vocal. They all helped create a culture within the team where girls were supportive of one another. I think we had really good team chemistry this season, and it was in large part due to their leadership and their personalities.”
It wasn’t long after the game before Dwaihy gave some thought as to the future of Liggett soccer.
“I think for us getting over that hump — we hadn’t won (districts) in a long time,” he said. “I think the girls got some confidence out of that experience. Now, they’ve kind of been here and experienced the level of play in the regional final. We’ve got a good group coming back and some great upcoming freshmen.
“I think the future’s really bright for the program, and the girls that are coming back are (going to) take a lot from this game, in particular, and hopefully use it as motivation for next year.”