By Jim Newell
The Lake Orion girls varsity soccer team is coming off a decisive win against division rival North Farmington High School, routing the Raiders 8-0 on April 11.
And that’s a big win considering North Farmington moved from the Oakland Activities Association’s (OAA) Red division down to the White division this year.
Before the game, coaches Chris Corteg and Amanda Hutchinson felt that Raiders might be one of the tougher division opponents, especially considering that Lake Orion has a lot of young players.
“We’re a young team but we’re improving. I’d say that each game we’ve improved. The team, overall, is young, a lot of freshmen and sophomores,” Corteg said.
The Dragons victory came before the end of regulation, with the mercy rule taking effect on the eighth goal by sophomore Matia Rourke.
Senior Grace Cady scored a hat trick in the game, with a goal in the first half and two in the second half. Annamarie Fosmoen scored Lake Orion’s first goal – the game-winning goal – a little over 12 minutes into the game and added another with 19 minutes left in the first half.
After that, the Dragons dominated the game, controlling the ball well and keeping pressure on the Raiders defense.
Marisa Szydlowski and Kacy Lauer also had goals in the Dragon victory.
The team is 1-3-1 on the season, with a 1-1 tie against Oxford on April 9 and losses coming to non-division opponents Utica, Notre Dame Prep and Troy Athens. All of the team’s losses were by three goals or less.
And while the team is competitive in the middle of the field and controlling the ball, the coaches said the team needs to continue to improve on finishing goals and keeping the ball out of the back of its own net.
“18 (yard line) to 18 (yard line) I think we’re pretty good. I’ve spoke with other coaches and shared some film with other coaches to get their opinions and the feedback is, ‘You’re a pretty decent soccer team even though you’re young,’” Corteg said. “The final third (of the field) and the back third we’ve had some issues scoring goals and we’ve given up some not-very-pretty goals.”
Lake Orion plays in the Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White division against North Farmington, Birmingham Groves, Royal Oak and Avondale, but will still have to face rivals Clarkston and Oxford in the regular season.
“And I think Royal Oak will be good, they had a decent team last year,” Corteg said.
“They divided the White in two this year, so it’s a little bit different from years past,” Hutchinson said.
Cady and Szydlowski are the team’s captains this season.
Corteg said there is good chemistry among the players, which will help during a challenging season.
“We’re hoping that they can lead this young group. We have a couple good freshmen, Kacy Lauer and Annamarie Fosmoen, that we’re hoping can jump in and be players that give us 60-70 minutes a game,” Hutchinson said.
“They get along. Times when you infuse particularly young players, give them responsibility, lots of playing time that can cause a wedge with older players. I don’t sense that with this group,” Corteg said.
And the coaches know that the team needs to stay focused to achieve their regular and post-season goals.
“Unfortunately, we’re in, if not the toughest, then the second toughest district in the state. I would speculate that to win our division would be our main goal. I think that’s reasonable,” Corteg said.
“Our league is our first goal and we would love to get out of the first round of district playoffs,” Hutchinson said. “We keep drawing Eisenhower and Stoney Creek (high schools) every year.”
The girls played Royal Oak High School on Tuesday after Lake Orion Review press time and play at 7 p.m. Thursday at home against Groves High School.
By Jim Newell