By: Daniel Stickradt
GIRLS SOCCER: Top-ranked Flint Powers Catholic on mission to claim D-3 crown
BY DAN STICKRADT
FLINT — It’s apparent that Flint Powers Catholic is on a mission this year and the Chargers won't be going away any time soon.
Powers Catholic, ranked No. 1 in Division 3 for most of last season, succumbed to 10-time state champion Hudsonville Unity Christian in the state finals, 2-1, despite holding a 17-3 shots edge and controlling play.
“We did everything right but win that game. We outplayed them, outshot them,” reminded Powers Catholic coach Art Moody. “We just made two mistakes in the back and we had so many chances to score in that game. Their goalie stood on her head. We had every chance to win that game.”
Powers Catholic finished last season with an impressive 21-3-1 record and opened the 2017 campaign with a 5-0-0 ledger. The Chargers outscored its opposition 24-5 in the span, including a 5-2 season-opening win over defending D-2 state champion Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
This season the top-ranked Chargers have bolstered their non-league schedule to include numerous D-1 and D-2 schools.
“That’s one change I made was scheduling some bigger schools, some D-1 and D-2 programs in the (non-league games) to help us prepare for the tournament,” said Moody. “Plus a lot of the schools in our league are D-1 teams.We already defeated Notre Dame Prep. They were D-2 state champs (last year) and always a very good team.”
Powers boasts two of the state’s better players in versatile senior D/M Rachel Philpotts (Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and sophomore F Rachel Rasins (Columbia), a pair of All-State First Team performers.
Philpotts, who can play anywhere on the field, is ranked as one of the top 10 high school players in Michigan. Rasins is ranked amongst the top 10 sophomores statewide in Michigan’s loaded sophomore class.
There are 18 players on the state championship roster back, plus two freshmen and some quality players up from a 16-1-0 junior varsity program.
Senior Abby Clothier and Sydney Wilhoite (All-State Third Team) and junior Sophie Bubner (All-State Second Team) anchor a stingy backfield.
Senior Emilee Pechette, who played defense last year, slides up into the midfield along with junior Maddy Cardinal and Philpotts.
Senior Sophia Dubiel, a fourth-year starter, can play up top alongside Rasins.
There are three goalkeepers, including two freshmen, sharing time between the pipes at the goalkeeper position. There are several bench players from last season filtering the lineup on a deep roster.
Powers is 1-6 all-time in title games, winning the D-3 title in 2011 while losing in 2000, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2016.
“I think we have the talent to do it again,” said Moody. “We have to keep working hard and take it one game at a time to get better. But we have the talent to make a run in D-3. the girls are very focused. I don't think they want to go through that again. Losing the way we did, dominating like we did. Our (ultimate) goal is to get back there and win it this season.”