By: John Raffel
Freeland soccer team falls one goal short of state title
Freeland’s girls soccer team was determined to get back to the Division 3 state championship game and achieved that goal.
But the bigger goal of winning the title fell short in a heartbreaking 2-1 game to Flint Powers.
Freeland broke the ice in 2017 by getting that elusive state semifinal win. But in the finals, it was all Flint Powers Catholic in a 4-0 win.
This year, the goal was simple: to get back to the title game and have a much better performance. That mission was accomplished, although a victory was obviously the ultimate dream
In the title game at Williamston on June 16, the Falcons went for the gold and almost got it. Rachel Rasins scored for Powers 31:08 into the game. But the Falcon defense continued to play tough and Freeland got the tying goal 58:48 into the game on a score by Molly Hemgesberg, assisted by Mackenzie Stroebel. But less than six minutes later, Rasins scored again and it proved to be the winning goal.
Flint Powers out-shot Freeland 12-1, and ended the season at 23-1-3. Freeland was at 22-5-2.
A major highlight for the Falcons was the dominating 6-1 win over Catholic Central in the semifinals. Kayler Radaz had three goals while Emerson Lynch put in one and Erin Tyson had two goals.
“They played hard and they played to win,” Freeland coach Lauren Kemerer said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better game. It’s been our goal since day 1 to get back to the state finals. We’ve been focused at practice. We’re a little quicker this year
Radaz, a senior, was ecstatic with her performance in getting her first hat trick of the season.”
“This is the best game (thrill) I’ve ever gotten,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d score anything. It was our offense and defense together.”
Her goals were of the long-range variety.
“It’s our second year in a row in the final and we’re looking forward to it,” Radaz said.
“We can’t give up this time. We’re planning to win this year.”
Stroebel was the team’s leading scorer this season.