By: Daniel Stickradt
GIRLS SOCCER: Philpotts hopes to help Powers go out on top
BY DAN STICKRADT
FLINT — Rachel Philpotts says she thinks everyday of the sting of losing in a state championship game.
It’s a feeling that she does not want to relive this season.
Philpotts, one of Michigan’s top high school soccer players, was in complete dismay on June 18, 2016, when top-ranked Flint Powers Catholic dominated Hudsonville Unity Christian, outshooting them 17-3 but still coming up on the short end of the stick, 2-1, in the Division 3 state finals at Michigan State University’s DeMartin Stadium.
The Chargers dominated but came up agonizingly short.
“It is (fuel) for us not to go through that again (this year),” said Philpotts. “It was the worst feeling.”
This past winter, Powers Catholic’s boys hockey team was ranked No. 1 the whole season in D-3 only to lose in the state semifinals to Calumet.
“We learned, watching them lose. Even from the stands, watching our friends lose when it was supposed to be their year. It was another reminder,” noted Philpotts. “We don’t want that to happen to our school again.”
In an era where a lot of the top prep-age soccer players no longer suit up for their high schools — boys often play for the U.S. Soccer Academy and girls in the Elite Clubs National League — Philpotts is all about Powers Catholic soccer and suiting up in high school circuit.
“There’s something about playing for your school, playing with your friends and having your friends watch you play,” said Philpotts, who also is a varsity basketball player and helped the Chargers reach the Class B Final Four her freshman year. “I personally love it.”
Coaches from around the state love Philpotts, too, at least of her playing ability. She is a three-time All-State player, including garnering first-team honors the past two years.
“She’s one of the best players in the state, no question,” beamed Powers Catholic head coach Art Moody. “She’s so technically sound, has great vision and leads by example. But I think what makes her so (valuable) to us is that she can play just about anywhere on the field. We put her where we need her.”
Philpotts was part of Powers’ Final Four squad in 2015 and regional finalist team in 2014. Although she plays center back on her Nationals Union club team, she is listed as a midfielder on the Powers roster.
She has signed with Division I University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Now, she hopes to lead Powers Catholic to its first state title since 2011. The Chargers began the season with a 5-0-0 mark, including a 24-5 scoring edge and a 5-2 er season-opening victory over defending Division 2 state champion Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
“I know our coach has scheduled us some tougher games this year,” noted Philpotts. “He wants us to be ready this year.”
Being ready to claim a state championship. Powers is 1-6 all-time in state title games. The Chargers are ranked No. 1 again in Division 3 as of late April.
“That’s our ultimate goal — to win it this year,” said Philpotts, one of 18 players from last year’s title game roster back this year. “We don't want to walk off the field a last time with a loss.”