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GIRLS SOCCER Athens, Troy battle to rain-shortened 1-1 draw; both remain in OAA-Red title chase



TROY, Mich. – Perhaps the result wasn’t what each side was hoping for, but in the end both Troy and Troy Athens are both still very much in the hunt for the Oakland Activities Association-Red Division title.

 

The two arch-rivals battled to a 1-1 tie Tuesday at Athens in a game where only 40 minutes of action was completed. Severe weather rolled into the area just before the end of halftime and didn’t let up until after midnight, causing Athens and Troy administration to call the game as official about one hour later after the original delay.

 

The two top-10 teams are trying to end droughts in terms of winning a league title but that will have to wait for another day. The City Cup is undecided unless the two meet again in the upcoming Division 1 districts that begin at the end of the month and carry on into early June.

 

Division 1 10th-ranked Athens came out the aggressor and the Red Hawks converted first with

35:40 still remaining in the first half. Junior Lauren DeJonckheere sent a long pass over to a racing Alex Haggerty, who dribbled down the right side to the corner before launching a cross into the box. Sophomore Lulu Thaqi was in the box to collect a loose ball that squirted off the hands of Troy junior netminder Sophia Peronis and punched the ball into the back of the net from close range.



“We were just trying to bring the energy in the first half,” offered first-year Athens coach and alum Jason Clark. That’s the kind of what we focused on this week is being the team that comes out strong. We’ve kind of come out flat in a few games (lately). So, we wanted to make sure this was a game we got up for and was intense and it meant a lot being a rivalry but also for the league (standings) as well.

 

‘I’m just really proud of my team for the way they came out,” continued Clark. "They came out on fire. We got the quick goal and again it’s part of the rivalry. I’ve played in it – I’ve experienced it. These girls were ready. I couldn’t Have asked for more except nicer weather.”

 

Troy, which hasn’t lost since a 1-0 setback to league foe Bloomfield Hills in last year’s district finals, struggled to get the ball into the Athens’ third of the field for the first 15-plus minutes before firing a pair of shots on Athens goalkeeper Ashley Miller just seconds apart that resulted in the game-tying goal with 24:06 remaining in the first half. Sophomore Olivia Jasiewicz broke loose down the left side, beating some defenders before cutting back inside to rip a shot from distance that Miller knocked away, but junior Demetria Tonelli was there to mop up the rebound for the 1-1 stalemate.

 

Athens outshot Troy 5-3 overall, including 4-2 with shots on frame before halftime and with at least the first half being completed, the game was ruled official, according to MHSAA rules.

 

The Colts were missing three of their four regular starters in the backfield but still held form against Athens, which now owns a 28-4 scoring edge this season. Troy has outscored its opposition 32-9 but has yet to suffer a loss.

 

“We were missing three of our regular starters in the back, but this team is deep and we put three other players in back there and we still played well,” said Troy coach Dan Troccoli.

 

“We certainly played better as the game went on and we were getting better,” continued Troccoli. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to play in the second half. I think you would have seen a little bit different of a game. But that’s how it goes. We just have to roll with it.”

 

Athens (9-2-3, 3-1-1) remained in second place behind league-leader and unbeaten Troy (9-0-3, 3-0-2), which leads the deep OAA-Red pack with 11 points to the Red Hawks’ 10 points. Only third-place Rochester (2-1-1 in league play) can catch the two leaders, as the Falcons have a continued game Wednesday night against fourth-place Rochester Stoney Creek. The Cougars lead Rochester 1-0 late in the first half of that game courtesy of an own goal.

 

Miller finished with one save for Athens, while Peronis had three saves for Troy.

 

Troy will visit top-ranked Hudsonville on Saturday in a game of unbeatens before the Colts wrap up OAA-Red play May 14 with a home game against two-time defending league champion Rochester (8-4-2, 2-1-1). Athens hosts fellow state-ranked Rochester Adams (7-2-2, 1-2-1) May 14 for its final league game. 

(MSN will compile a random sampling of game results from around the state each day. To send in results from high school varsity, club, amateur, pre-pro, semi-pro or professional soccer, email all pertinent details to Communications Specialist / Web and Content Editor / Director of News Dan Stickradt at stickradt@michigansoccernetwork.com or submit information right on the correct link on the MSN website.)

 

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(MSN will compile a random sampling of game results from around the state each day. To send in results from high school varsity, club, amateur, pre-pro, semi-pro or professional soccer, email all pertinent details to Communications Specialist / Web and Content Editor / Director of News Dan Stickradt at stickradt@michigansoccernetwork.com.)

 

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