By: Daniel Stickradt
CLUB GIRLS SOCCER: Michigan Jaguars U-14 Green earn State Cup title
BY DAN STICKRADT
Stickradt Media Group /
Michigan Jaguars Communications
PONTIAC — Now that’s a dominating run.
The Michigan Jaguars U-14 Green girls soccer team walked off the pitch as tops in the state, outscoring seven foes this fall by a commanding 26-1 scoring edge.
The 16-member Jaguars, coached by veteran Firas Al-Samarraie, and made up of 8th graders from the Detroit area, the squad outscored its Group A opposition 20-1, then rolled past its final four opponents in bracket play with a 6-0 edge.
The Jaguars toppled Michigan Nationals, 1-0, in the MSYSA championship match at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac.
“This was quite a talented bunch,” said coach Firas Al-Samarraie. “They played so well together. We didn't have that one star that carried us every game. But everyone played their roles and played together.”
Overall this fall season, the Jaguars finished 11-1-0 in various tournaments, outscoring the opposition 43-1 before the state cup.
In the state cup tournament, the Jags downed Eastside FC (14-0), Nationals-Genesee (1-0) and Cast City (5-1) in Group A competition.
In the Round of 16, the Jaguars defeated Alliance (2-0), then toppled inter-club Michigan Jaguars White B (2-0) in the quarterfinals.
It took overtime to dispatch the Michigan Hawks (1-0) in the state semifinals, setting up the victorious cup finals win over the aforementioned Nationals.
“We didn’t allow a goal in the State Cup and that’s not easy to do,” said Al-Samarraie.
Midfielders Erena Bowman and Emily Pagett, forward Brooks Sleeve, defenders Taya Hjorth, Alexandra Hooks and Andie Wolfe starred for the Jaguars in the postseason. Hannah Becker, Ashley Heckman, Noel Blaine, Sydney Chura, Hailey McMahon, Kayla Rollins, Emerson Sergeant and Acadia Murphy were also on the roster as field players.
Madison Kragt and Isabel Plotz shared time between the pipes in goal to post a stellar 0.15 goals-against-average against seven postseason opponents.
“Our goalkeeping was really strong,” said Al-Samarraie. “Both goalies played well, communicated well with our defense. I thought our defense was very good. They didn't make very many mistakes, and the girls covered for each other so well.”
The Michigan Jaguars U-14 Green will test their meddle next June in the Midwest tournament, where they will go after qualifying for the national tournament in their respective age group.
“That’s a ways off, so we’ll work hard and see what we can do against some of the other top teams,” boasted Al-Samarraie. “The girls have worked very hard to get to this point.”