Rockford Varsity Girls Soccer Team

East Kentwood defeats Rockford soccer in battle for league lead

May 27, 2010 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER The annual conference game between the Rockford varsity girls soccer team and the East Kentwood Falcons is always a “clash of the Titans,” and Friday’s fight for the OK Red lead was no exception. The Rams and Falcons were mirror images of each other in many ways, but one small fact made all of the difference: East Kead with Class B leader Spring Lake three weeks ago. Holding the Lakers to a tie for the entire game, the Rams lost in the final three minutes. Ditto against Kentwood. The Rams scored first when the Huyser twins, Kate and Al, made the Falcons take a double take just four minutes into the game. Al took a corner kick from the left side and her sister placed herself in front of the net to take advantage of the opportunity. East Kentwood’s Becca Means, who will take her talent to Central Michigan University next fall, tied the game six minutes later, racing past the defense and putting it into the left side of the net. The next 65 minutes saw the two teams at a stalemate, with both teams having opportunities and neither scoring. Credit Rockford’s flat-back four defense, especially the play of senior Celine Stallmer, with keeping Means and company out of the net. Stallmer—who played the best game of her life, according to Ponne—was a pest to the future Chippewa, and her relentless pressure forced Means to switch sides of the field to try to score from another angle. “They were a very physical team,” said Stallmer. “I’m not a dirty player, but you had to body up and be confident to hold your ground. You had to go for every 50/50 ball and know you are going to come out on top.” Rockford goalie Karlee Fluegel was also at the top of her game, deflecting, punching out or catching all but two of the Falcon shots. That 11th shot on goal by East Kentwood’s Casey McMillan was basically a non-defendable goal. McMillan took the pass from the right, turned at an awkward angle, and sent the ball flying into the net with 3:13 remaining in the game. The Rams almost scored as time ran out. Al Huyser patiently passed the ball right […]

Rockford varsity girls soccer team begins season with bang

April 1, 2010 // 0 Comments

by JACKIE HOLLAND-DECKER Take notice, soccer fans and foes alike. The new and improved Rockford girls soccer team will be a force with which to be reckoned this year. The girls proved that Friday night, March 26, with a 3-1 victory over Forest Hills Eastern in the home opener at Rams Stadium. Second-year coach Amira Ponne couldn’t have been prouder. “We really showed our strength,” she said. “This was a big win. Last year we tied 1-1. This year we have a clear 3-1 victory. Before the game I looked at their roster and saw that they have a lot of the same girls from last year. They don’t have a lot of young girls on their team. Our team has changed a lot. We really showed our strength with some of our freshmen. We showed them our new format.” That new format, which includes just nine returners and four starters on the 23-member team, has lots of speed and skill. Whereas the Rams of the past used more brute strength and size to get the job done, this team has finesse and scoring ability. For the first time in four years, that lineup also includes a new goalie. The Rams relied on Kristin Darby to keep the ball out of the net throughout her high school career, but when she graduated last spring, Ponne was left pondering what to do. The solution? She found not one, but two capable underclassmen to take the helm. Starting for the Rams Friday night was sophomore Makaela Harrell, who gave up just one goal in the first half. Finishing for the Rams was junior Karlee Flegel, who came in with six minutes left to play, but also saw a lot of playing time in preseason scrimmages Saturday and the previous weekend. The Rams got off to a convincing start just eight minutes into the game when freshman speedster Katie Hartnett took advantage of an open net. As senior Kate Huyser drove up the middle, Forest Hills Eastern (FHE) goalkeeper Michelle Marcus came out to stop her. Huyser’s ball went around Marcus, and Hartnett was in the right place at the right time to kick it in from close proximity. “Katie Hartnett is a scrapper. She was relentless at […]