Tecumseh defeats Grass Lake’s Warriors 8-1

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Tecumseh varsity girls soccer team — Row one (l-r), Veronica Mascelluti, Maria Abood, Sydner Burr, Jillian Rine, Raquel Champion, Mackenzie Cytlak, Kelsey Schoenberger and Almudena Lopez. Row two, Katie Waterbury, Ann Kossey, Cassie Lee, Allison O’Leary, Cassandra Brown, Jordan Kreger, Olivia Nowak and Madi Howe. Row three, assistant coach Christine Brown, Dylan Handy (mgr.), Konner Linn (mgr.) and coach Matt Dailey. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Sunshine greeted Tecumseh’s varsity girls soccer team at home on Thursday, March 28, and lifted the Indians’ spirits for a big 8-1 victory over visiting Grass Lake’s Warriors.

Tecumseh’s girls went into the game with a 0-1 record, having lost their opening game 7-0 to Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard just the day before, but heated up and controlled the field of play to even out their season record.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Kreger let just one of two Warrior shots on goal past her in the opening half. The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first three minutes of action but the Warriors slipped past Tecumseh’s defenders just two minutes later to tie the game 1-all. The Indians took a 2-1 lead with Madison Tedora rushing the Warrior’s net from the left side and sailing the ball past the goalkeeper’s hands with 17:53 remaining in the first half.

Tedora gave the Indians a 3-1 advantage by placing the ball over the Warrior’s keeper’s head with 8:33 left on the clock in the first half. While Tecumseh’s defense held Grass Lake from the net, the Indians scored five additional goals to secure the non-conference victory.

“Entering the second half, we wanted to play with a greater sense of urgency,” said Tecumseh coach Matt Dailey. “Our goal was to pressure Grass Lake with speed and intensity and force their defenders to make mistakes in the attacking third of the field so we could nick a quick goal.”

Dailey said the efforts from Madi Howe and Katie Waterbury were key components for the win, holding down the center of the Indians’ defense while forcing Grass Lake to build their attack from the outside. He credited Kelsey Schoenberger for leading Tecumseh’s high-pressure defense. She picked up three steals in the second half.

“Spring break will provide a great opportunity to focus our training on how best to use our athleticism and speed in building our offensive opportunities,” Dailey said. “For the first time in several seasons, we have some much needed speed and aggressiveness in vital areas of the field that should lead to increased opportunities in the attacking third of the field.”

Dailey talked about the team in a preseason interview and was excited about the athletic talents he was returning. Two of the players committed to attend colleges on scholarships to play soccer. Maria Abood (forward) signed with Cleary University while Kelsey Schoenberger (midfield) signed with Siena Heights University.

Tecumseh has four other seniors including Sydney Burr (backfield), Jillian Rine (back/mid), Raquel Champion (backfield) and Mackenzie Cytlak (mid/for).

Dailey said the players have been working hard since November in conditioning preparation for the season. He said that positions may be adjusted during the early season but is looking to Cytlak and Rine being key players in the midfield while Champion will help hold down the backfield.

“We’re putting in a new system of play,” said Dailey. “Last year we were real heavy on defensive midfielders, this year we have a lot more agility and we can probably push the ball a lot more into the attacking third of the field and feel very comfortable.”

He said the look of the team would be different this year with lots of speed available. One of the quick players pointed out was returning sophomore Cassandra Brown (for/mid). She was Tecumseh’s leading scorer last year as a freshman.

“Her soccer cleats are still on fire from last year,” said Dailey.

The coach also mentioned Jordan Kreger (back/mid) as looking much more fit and quick.

“She was good last year, she is stellar this year,’ he said.

He also said Olivia Nowak (for) was one to watch as another burst of energy for the Indians.

Allison O’Leary will be a solid player in the backfield, according to the coach.

Tecumseh went 6-10-2 overall last season but Dailey looks to improve on that finish.

“With this group, they came in mentally real strong, which is encouraging to see that much energy this early in the season,” said Dailey. “And to see how well they’ve responded in the first week of training. They’ve gotten a lot out of the first week and shown a lot of development.”

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