Birmingham Marian rallies to win Division 2 girls soccer state title – Detroit Free Press
The official announcement that Comerica Park will host an International Champions Cup soccer match on July 19 in downtown Detroit, the first-ever soccer match at the ballpark. Video by Kevin Bull, DFP.
WILLIAMSTON – Birmingham Marian girls soccer coach Barry Brodsky stood in front of his team at halftime of Friday’s Division 2 state championship game and in a rare instance was stumped on what advice to give.
“I got nothing,” Brodsky told his team.
There wasn’t much Brodsky could say since his team dominated play against Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, but found itself trailing by a goal at halftime despite all its superior scoring chances.
“We played well, but we were losing,” Brodsky said.
Fate was a lot better to Marian in the second half, though, as the Mustangs continued to dominate play and this time saw senior forward Ellie Deconinck convert a couple of chances in the box to help Marian earn a 2-1 victory.
It was Marian’s first state title since 2012 and sixth since 2003.
Of all those six championships, though, Brodsky said this was the first time his team rallied from a deficit to win.
Marian (24-0) had chance after chance in the first half, but Forest Hills Northern took a 1-0 lead with 15:59 left in the half on a goal by Addie Brown, who got loose outside the box and fired a perfect shot that hit the bottom of the crossbar and went in.
Enter Deconinck, one of the only six seniors on Marian’s team.
Just 1:15 into the second half and after a Marian chance hit off of the crossbar, Deconinck picked up a loose ball in the box and fired it into an open goal to tie the game at 1-1.
Deconinck then scored the game-winner with 20:07 remaining in the game, taking a pass in the middle of the box from freshman teammate Anna Leonard and fighting off a couple of defenders to chip a shot into the net and give Marian a 2-1 lead.
In a 2-1 loss to Richland Gull Lake in the 2014 championship game, Deconinck scored Marian’s lone goal of the game.
Her career certainly came full-circle by scoring on the same side of the field twice to give Marian the title.
“I thought the first half of the game was some of the best soccer our team played all season,” Deconinck said. “Going into halftime, the seniors and captains were trying to keep everyone’s heads up. We were really proud of how were playing. We were a touch off. To come back in the second half and play so well to get our team this victory is unbelievable.”
It was the second straight year Forest Hills Northern (20-1-3) lost in the championship game.
“They are very deep and a lot of bodies they can rotate,” Forest Hills Northern coach Daniel Siminski said. “They kind of wore us down a bit and gaps opened up.”