By Chris Zadorozny
As districts wrap up, it’s fitting that rain, which postponed many games earlier in the season, would creep its way into districts. In a double lightning delayed game between Grosse Ile and Cabrini in a Division 3 district semifinal, the Red Devils pulled it out in penalty kicks to defeat the Monarchs 3-2 on Thursday.
It was a 4:30pm start and didn’t end until 8:30pm after a successful showing from three Red Devil seniors to win it in penalty kicks.
“It was a great game. We came back, showed some character to come back, once and then go down again, and then come back to get that goal with only 48, 50 seconds to go,” said Cabrini head coach Frank Mlodzik. “They’re a good team. I thought we played really well, we had some good opportunities.”
The Red Devils got the scoring started early in the first half, but it was a defensive game from then on. Senior Roxy Maluchnik found the back of the net early, and provided many more scoring chances throughout the first half, but couldn’t capitalize. The first of two rain-delays hit near the end of the first half, at the 6:30 mark.
It resumed after a half-hour delay and the break seemed to favor the Monarchs. Junior Erin Lockard was on a rush toward the Grosse Ile net when she was tripped from behind near the box, giving the Monarchs a free kick to tie the game. Fellow junior Catherine Diroff came in for the shot, and kicked it in past freshman goaltender Olivia Reckley to tie the game at one with three minutes to go.
It didn’t stay tied for long as a corner kick from the Red Devils found the back of the net after it was deflected by junior Michelle Ryder to end the first half, with her team up by one.
Grosse Ile dominated play in the second half, with a few good chances from Cabrini thrown in throughout, but it was the constant attack at the end that proved successful. With less than a minute to go, Lockard found the net to tie the game on a near breakaway, sending the Monarch fans into a frenzy, and the Red Devils fans into groans.
“We’ve made a few mistakes, and when you play good teams, they capitalize and put the ball in the back of the net,” said Grosse Ile head coach Amy Rossow. “
It was bound to be a tie game with the back and forth play, and being districts, there are no tie games, so, two overtime halves, each 10 minutes were played, followed by a penalty kick round.
In the first half of overtime, there were only a few chances for both squads. Grosse Ile had the first one, followed by Cabrini in the final minute. Both shots sailed just wide of the net.
Cabrini nearly won it early in the second overtime, as Caitlyn Lefebvre and Maria Vassallo both had their chances stopped by Reckley. Another rain/lightning delay hit with 6:33 left in the final overtime and led to more waiting awaited the players and fans. After the delay, Grosse Ile kicked it up a notch and had three consecutive scoring opportunities, but were unable to capitalize. Two of them were corner kicks in the final minutes.
It was off to a back and forth round of penalty kicks in which Cabrini struck the first blow.
The Red Devils had put freshman Aubrey Fleming in net for the shoot out.
First up for the Monarchs was the goalkeeper Allison Surma, who kicked it past Fleming. The Red Devils followed with Maluchnik, who also found the back of the net.
Fleming then turned it on and stopped the next two shots from the Monarchs, stopping Diroff and Lefebvre while senior Vanessa Wojno and senior Sarah Moehr found the back of the to give the Red Devils the lead. The Monarchs were right back in it when Lockard scored. Goalkeeper Surma helped her team out and stopped a shot from senior Maddy Jankowski, but Fleming sealed the deal with a spectacular save on junior Miranda Trumbla to win it for Grosse Ile.
“We’ve been practicing that and they’ve been talking about that for awhile, how they have to strike it and how they have to go. The seniors did a nice job. They pulled it through,” said Rossow.
The Red Devils advanced to the semifinal round with a 2-1 victory over host SMCC on Tuesday.
Maluchnik opened the scoring 15 minutes in with a header off of a Caroline Fleming corner kick.
SMCC pressed after giving up the early lead and nearly scored on a breakaway opportunity that went wide of the goal, but the Red Devil defense held on to its one-goal lead until halftime.
In the second half, Maluchnik struck again with a goal off of a rebound from a Moehr shot.
SMCC scored with a long shot that ricocheted off the post into the back of the Grosse Ile net, but the Red Devils held on to top their Huron League foes and advance to the district semifinals.
“Tonight, we beat Monroe SMCC for the third time and each game, it became harder and harder (to do),” Rossow said.
The Red Devils will now face the Flat Rock Rams on Saturday at St. Mary’s Catholic Central Soccer Fields in Monroe on Saturday at 3:00pm for the District Championship. The winner will advance to regionals.
Cabrini made it to the district semis that same day with an 8-0 win over Dearborn Henry Ford Academy.
Cienna Eberth scored a pair of goals in the win and Lefebrve, Vassallo, Lockard, Marta Grivins, Maddie Carter and Emma Avery each scored once.
“We moved the ball around well and got everyone involved in the game,” Mlodzik said.
Staff writer Shane Preston contributed to this article.
To read the original post that appeared in the Downriver News-Herald on May 31, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald