top of page
MSNMAGBANNER.png
share your team.jpg

GIRLS SOCCER Marian set to return to its winning ways



BY DAN STICKRADT

Communications Specialist | Web And Content Editor | Director of News |

Social Media Director | Interns and Freelance Coordinator

PH: (248) 884-1051

TW: @LocalSportsFans @MiSoccerNetwork


BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – When Danny Price walked into the hallways and gymnasium at Birmingham Marian for the first time, he right away felt the aurora, the history.

And don’t forget the pressure.


And the expectations. Oh boy, the expectations.

“I can see it. I guess there is a little bit of a pressure, an expectation,” beamed Price, who also coaches club soccer for the Liverpool FC club system in the Detroit-Ann Arbor area. “The school has a lot of history for soccer and in other sports. You look at all the banners and trophies…”


Price has been the head coach at all-boys Catholic school Birmingham Brother Rice next door for four years now and then got the job at Marian, an all-girls Catholic school, last fall after Reid Fredrichs became a men’s soccer assistant coach at his alma mater Michigan State University.


The banners on the gymnasium wall are plentiful and so are the trophy cases at Marian and as well as at neighboring Brother Rice. Many of those banners at Marian come from the likes of girls volleyball, girls basketball and girls soccer. Parents send their girls to Marian for academics and athletics excellence – and in terms of athletics especially in those three aforementioned sports.




Marian fans expect to win, and the proof is in the pudding.

Overall, in girls soccer Marian has reached the Final Four 16 times in the last 30 seasons, according to research compiled by MSN, which is good enough for fifth overall all-time in MHSAA history. The Mustangs have reached the state finals 13 times, which is tied for seventh all-time, and they have recorded nine state titles since 2003, which is third all-time behind Madison Heights Bishop Foley (12) and Hudsonville Unity Christian (11).

With four state runner-up trophies in tow, Marian is 9-4 in state title matches – all of those appearances came between 2002 and 2022 – and in Final Four matches the Mustangs are a noteworthy 22-7. The Mustangs’ 16 state semifinals appearances in fifth overall, the 13 state finals appearances are tied for seventh all-time and the four state runner-up trophies rank seventh all-time.


Throw in the countless number of Catholic High School League Central Division, CHSL Bishop/A-B Tournament titles, district championships, 16 regional titles and all of the success of making the state finals – most of the state tournament runs were accomplished under Christopher Courage and Barry Brodsky – there is an expectation to win and that expectation never goes away.


“There is a lot of history here,” added Price. “How can you not notice. The girls can see all the banners and trophies. Some of my players play another sport at Marian.”

Marian’s girls volleyball program owns five state championships with five state runners-up, while the school’s girls basketball program has six state titles and one state runner-up to its credit. Both of those programs also have numerous league, league tournament, district and regional championships and other Final Four appearances.

The school has also done well in several other sports over the years such as girls swim and dive, lacrosse field hockey and much more.


LAST YEAR ON THE PITCH

Last year Marian finished with a very respectable 15-2-2 record with 13 shutouts and a school record five goals allowed in the regular season. The Mustangs outscored the opposition 53-8 overall and pitched eight shutouts in their first nine games.

Along the way Marian – which spent the entire season ranked in the top 10 of the Division 2 top-15 coaches association rankings, captured the CHSL-Central Division and Bishop Tournament titles followed by another district crown.

The Mustangs accomplished all of this in an unusual way, as many as five would-be starters entered the campaign or went down with season-ending injuries in the opening weeks of the season. The team had an incredible well of depth and legions of players that came from respectable clubs from around the Detroit area such as Liverpool FC, Nationals, Michigan Jaguars, Michigan Hawks and more.


The run came to an unexpected end in the regional semifinals in un uncharacteristic fashion. Holding a 2-0 lead on then-unranked Grosse Pointe North midway through the second half, the Mustangs conceded two late goals to North in regulation which forced overtime at a 2-2 deadlock. Marian eventually fell in a shootout to GPN.

Only one team scored more than one goal in a single contest against the Mustangs – and it came at the worst time. North went on to a Cinderella-type run which ended with the Division 2 state championship. Marian went home with its lofty expectations of at least reaching another Final Four a couple of games short and quietly dispersed back to their respective club teams and leagues.


Three of those eight goals allowed came in one state tournament game and it proved to be a roadblock to another appearance in the Final Four, where Marian has been so many times before.

“I went to that game and was up in the stands,” recalled Price. “I went with one of my (Brother) Rice players who was friends with some of the Marian girls. I watched Marian control play for the first half and most of the second. Then Grosse Pointe North came back and tied that game. Once you get to overtime or even a shootout anything can happen. That’s what you saw.”

The names and faces change on the roster and in the team photos – but everything else stays the same.

“I know all of these girls remember what happened,” noted Price. “You don’t even have to mention it.”


EXPERIENCE THE KEY

This year Marian began the season behind its stout defense with a 1-0-1 record, although some key players were missing for various reasons including spring break. The Mustangs upended defending Lakes Valley Conference champion Walled Lake Northern 1-0 (Northern also won a district championship in Division 1 last year) and posted a 0-0 draw with Division 3 power Detroit Country Day. DCD was a state champion in 2021.

With all of those injuries players on the bench last year, it gave some younger players a chance to play and have great overall seasons, even with the upset loss in the state tournament. Marian was still one of the state’s top teams overall regardless of the finish.

There are 11 players back that started games at different times and six more returning letterwinners. The Mustangs also boast two quality freshmen that should make an impact and this collection of players should again be a huge factor in Division 2 as well as contend for league and district titles and maybe more. There is experience and talent all over the field.

Seniors Olivia Zahnow (CB), Agatha Valka (F), Madeline Stenger (F), Danielle Mertz (G) and Katelynn Freese (D), juniors Isabella Musachio (F), Nadia Valka (CB) and Abigail Walton (D), and sophomores Clair Dauer (CM), Lily Robinson (CB) and Bella Sheens (CM) all started games last season.


Dauer (All-State Second Team), Zanhow (All-State Third Team), Valka (All-State Honorable Mention), Musachio Valka (All-State Honorable Mention), Mertz Valka (All-State Honorable Mention) and Robinson Valka (All-State Honorable Mention) all received various All-State awards from the MIHSSCA. Adri Kattoo (All-State First Team) graduated. Several others players also earned All-District or All-CHSL honors as well.


Juniors Charlotte Bingham (G), Reese Frauenheim (D) and Hannah Koziarz (F) along with sophomores Giulianna Agrusso (F), Madeline Najor (D) and Brooke Salkowski (CM) all came off the bench last season but saw ample minutes. Freshmen Nia Bordogna (M) and Francesca Kulpa (D) will also play on varsity this season.

“We have a lot of really good players,” admitted Price. “We have a lot of experience back. I feel once we round back into form and get everyone back, we’ll be a really good team. How good? There’s a lot of very good teams in the Catholic League and in this area and winning (titles) is never easy.


“To win you have to not only play well but you have to stay healthy. And you need a little bit of luck,” continued Price. “Last year they had a really good season, they just played an (inspired) team from Grosse Pointe North who had a really good goalkeeper and came up short.”


MARIAN IN THE MHSAA STATE FINALS

2002: East Grand Rapids 2, Birmingham Marian 0

2003: Birmingham Marian 1, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 0

2004: Birmingham Marian 3, East Grand Rapids 0

2007: Birmingham Marian 1, East Grand Rapids 0

2010: Birmingham Marian 2, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 0

2012: Birmingham Marian 3, Plainwell 1

2013: Richland Gull Lake 1, Birmingham Marian 0 (2OT)

2014: Richland Gull Lake 2, Birmingham Marian 1

2017: Birmingham Marian 2, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 1

2018: Birmingham Marian 4, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 2

2019: Birmingham Marian 2, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 1 (OT)

2021: Birmingham Marian 2, Spring Lake 1

2022: Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 2, Birmingham Marian 1


THE MOST IN STATE TOURNAMENT HISTORY—GIRLS SOCCER

(1983-2003)

  • Compiled by MSN’s Dan Stickradt

 

Note: An asterisk* denotes a school that no longer exists.

 

MOST MHSAA STATE TITLES:

 

12 – Madison Heights Bishop Foley

11 – Hudsonville Unity Christian

9 – Birmingham Marian 

7 – Novi

6 – Birmingham Detroit Country Day

5 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central

5 – Kalamazoo Christian

5 – Livonia Stevenson

4 – Grandville Calvin Christian

4 – Richland Gull Lake 

4 – Troy Athens

3 – East Grand Rapids

3 – Flint Powers Catholic

3 – Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep

3 – Northville

3 – Plymouth Canton

3 – Troy

2 – Grand Rapids South Christian

2 – Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett

2 – Lansing Christian

2 – Okemos

2 – Portage Central

2 – Rochester Adams

2 – Rochester Stoney Creek

2 – Royal Oak Shrine Catholic

1 – Ann Arbor Greenhills

1 – Ann Arbor Huron

1 – Birmingham Groves

1 – Birmingham Seaholm

1 – Bloomfield Hills

1 – Clawson

1 – Dearborn

1 – Grosse Pointe North

1 – Hartland

1 – Livonia Churchill

1 – North Muskegon

1 – Plainwell

1 – Plymouth Salem

1 – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep

1 – Saginaw Eisenhower*

1 – Saginaw Heritage

1 – Saline

1 – Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes-Clarkston Everest Unified

1 – Williamston

 

MOST MHSAA STATE FINALS APPEARANCES:

 

17 – Madison Heights Bishop Foley

15 – Hudsonville Unity Christian

13 – Birmingham Marian

11 – Birmingham Detroit Country Day 

9 – Flint Powers Catholic 

9 – Kalamazoo Christian 

8 – Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep 

8 – Richland Gull Lake

7 – Livonia Stevenson

7 – Novi

7 – Plymouth Canton

7 – Troy

7 – Troy Athens

6 – East Grand Rapids

6 – Northville

6 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 

5 – Plainwell

5 – Brighton

5 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern

4 – Ann Arbor Greenhills

4 – Grand Blanc

4 – Grandville Calvin Christian

4 – Lansing Christian

4 – Rochester Adams

4 – Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes-Clarkston Everest Unified

3 – Bloomfield Hills Lahser*

3 – Livonia Churchill

3 – Okemos

3 – Portage Central

3 – Rochester Stoney Creek

3 – Royal Oak Shrine Catholic

3 – Williamston

2 – Freeland

2 – Grand Rapids South Christian

2 – Grosse Pointe North

2 – Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett

2 – Plymouth

2 – Plymouth Salem

2 – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep

2 – Saginaw Eisenhower*

2 – Utica Eisenhower

1 – Ann Arbor Huron

1 – Birmingham Groves

1 – Birmingham Seaholm

1 – Bloomfield Hills

1 – Boyne City

1 ­­– Clarkston Everest Collegiate-Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart Unified

1 – Clawson

1 – Dearborn

1 – Essexville-Garber

1 – Fenton

1 – Grandville

1 – Grosse Ile

1 – Harbor Springs

1 – Hartland

1 – Hudsonville

1 – Jackson Lumen Christi

1 – Livonia Ladywood*

1 – Montrose

1 – Muskegon Western Michigan Christian

1 – North Muskegon

1 – Portage Northern

1 – Rochester

1 – Saginaw Heritage

1 – Saginaw Nouvel Catholic

1 – Saline

1 – Spring Lake

1 – Stevensville-Lakeshore

 

MOST MHSAA STATE RUNNERS-UP FINISHES:

 

6 – Flint Powers Catholic

5 – Birmingham Detroit Country Day

5 – Brighton

5 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern

5 – Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep

5 – Madison Heights Bishop Foley

4 – Birmingham Marian 

4 – Grand Blanc

4 – Hudsonville Unity Christian

4 – Kalamazoo Christian

4 – Plainwell

4 – Plymouth Canton

4 – Richland Gull Lake

4 – Troy

3 – Ann Arbor Greenhills

3 – Bloomfield Hills Lahser*

3 – Northville

3 – Troy Athens

3 – Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes-Clarkston Everest Unified

2 – East Grand Rapids

2 – Freeland 

2 – Lansing Christian

2 – Livonia Churchill

2 – Livonia Stevenson 

2 – Plymouth

2 – Rochester Adams

2 – Utica Eisenhower

2 – Williamston

1 – Boyne City

1 ­­– Clarkston Everest Collegiate-Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart Unified

1 – East Grand Rapids

1 – Essexville-Garber

1 – Fenton

1 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central

1 – Grandville

1 – Grosse Ile

1 – Grosse Pointe North

1 – Harbor Springs

1 – Hudsonville

1 – Jackson Lumen Christi

1 – Livonia Ladywood*

1 – Montrose

1 – Muskegon Western Michigan Christian

1 – Okemos

1 – Plymouth Salem

1 – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep

1 – Portage Central

1 – Portage Northern

1 – Royal Oak Shrine Catholic

1 – Rochester

1 – Rochester Stoney Creek

1 – Saginaw Eisenhower*

1 – Saginaw Nouvel Catholic

1 – Spring Lake

1 – Stevensville-Lakeshore

 

MOST MHSAA STATE RUNNERS-UP FINISHES WITHOUT A STATE TITLE:

 

5 – Brighton

5 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern

4 – Grand Blanc

2 – Freeland

2 – Utica Eisenhower

1 – Boyne City

1 ­­– Clarkston Everest Collegiate-Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart Unified

1 – Essexville-Garber

1 – Fenton

1 – Grandville

1 – Grosse Ile

1 – Grosse Pointe North 

1 – Harbor Springs

1 – Hudsonville

1 – Jackson Lumen Christi

1 – Livonia Ladywood*

1 – Montrose

1 – Muskegon Western Michigan Christian

1 – Portage Northern

1 – Rochester

1 – Saginaw Eisenhower*

1 – Saginaw Nouvel Catholic

1 – Spring Lake

1 – Stevensville-Lakeshore

 

MHSAA STATE SEMIFINALS LOSSES:

 

9 – Flint Powers Catholic

8 – Troy

7 – Birmingham Detroit Country Day 

6 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 

6 – Muskegon Western Michigan Christian

6 – Plainwell

6 – Portage Central 

6 – Rochester Adams

5 – Brighton

5 – DeWitt 

5 – Holland Christian

5 – North Muskegon 

5 – Northville  

5 – Portage Northern

5 – Saginaw Nouvel Catholic 

4 – Dexter 

4 – Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett

4 – Harper Woods Regina / Warren Regina

4 – Hudsonville Unity Christian 

4 – Jackson Lumen Christi 

4 – Kalamazoo Christian 

4 – Madison Heights Bishop Foley

4 – Richland-Gull Lake 

4 – Rochester  

4 – Suttons Bay 

3 – Birmingham Marian 

3 – Frankenmuth

3 – Freeland 

3 – Grosse Pointe South

3 – Lansing Christian

3 – Livonia Ladywood* 

3 – Midland Dow 

3 – Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 

3 – Trenton 

3 – Utica Ford II

2 – Ann Arbor Greenhills 

2 – Bad Axe 

2 – Dearborn  

2 – Elk Rapids 

2 – Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port-Laker

2 – Fenton  

2 – Fremont 

2 – Grand Rapids Catholic Central

2 – Grand Rapids Christian 

2 – Grandville Calvin Christian 

2 – Grosse Pointe North 

2 – Harbor Springs 

2 – Kalamazoo Central

2 – Linden

2 – Livonia Stevenson

2 – Macomb Lutheran North 

2 – Midland 

2 – Novi 

2 – Saginaw Eisenhower*

2 – Saline 

2 – Troy Athens

2 – Utica Eisenhower

2 – Williamston

1 – Ann Arbor Huron 

1 – Ann Arbor Pioneer 

1 – Ann Arbor Skyline 

1 – Birmingham Seaholm 

1 – Boyne City 

1 – Byron Center

1 – Charlevoix 

1 – Chelsea 

1 – Clawson 

1 – Dearborn Divine Child

1 – East Kentwood 

1 – East Lansing 

1 – Farmington 

1 – Farmington Hills Mercy

1 – Flushing 

1 – Grand Blanc 

1 – Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 

1 – Grosse Ile

1 – Hart 

1 – Haslett 

1 – Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep

1 – Kalamazoo Loy-Norrix

1 – Lapeer East*

1 – Lake Fenton 

1 – Livonia Churchill

1 – Ludington 

1 – Madison Heights Lamphere 

1 – Maple City Glen Lake 

1 – Marine City Cardinal Mooney 

1 – Marshall 

1 – Mattawan 

1 – Muskegon Catholic Central 

1 – Muskegon Oakridge 

1 – Muskegon Orchard View 

1 – Okemos 

1 – Paw Paw 

1 – Plymouth Canton 

1 – Royal Oak Kimball*

1 – Saginaw Heritage

1 – St. Clair Shores South Lake 

1 – Spring Lake

 

MOST MHSAA FINAL FOUR APPEARANCES:

(Combined state championship, state runners-ups and Final Four losses) 

 

21 – Madison Heights Bishop Foley

19 – Hudsonville Unity Christian

18 – Birmingham Detroit Country Day 

18 – Flint Powers Catholic 

16 – Birmingham Marian 

15 – Troy 

13 – Kalamazoo Christian 

12 – Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 

12 – Richland Gull Lake 

11 – Northville 

11 – Plainwell 

10 – Brighton

10 – Rochester Adams 

9 – Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep 

9 – Livonia Stevenson 

9 – Novi

9 – Portage Central 

9 – Troy Athens 

8 – Plymouth Canton

7 – Lansing Christian

7 – Muskegon Western Michigan Christian 

6 – Ann Arbor Greenhills 

6 – East Grand Rapids

6 – Grandville Calvin Christian

6 – Grosse Pointe Woods University-Liggett 

6 – North Muskegon 

6 – Portage Northern 

6 – Saginaw Nouvel Catholic

5 – DeWitt  

5 – Freeland 




(Have a story suggestion for the Premier Media Group and the Michigan Soccer Network regarding club soccer, high school varsity, amateur soccer, collegiate soccer or professional soccer of teams or players with Michigan ties, contact Communications Specialist/Web and Content Editor/Director of News Dan Stickradt via email at stickradt@michigansoccernetwork.com, or call 248-884-1051. Dan Stickradt is a 31-year veteran of the Michigan Media circles and recently joined the staff full time in March of 2024. Want to schedule a broadcast game or live show, contact PMG/MSN Director of Broadcasting Jonathan Turner for availability and pricing at jonathan@michigansoccernetwork.com.) 








 

472 views0 comments

Comments


GOT A SOCCER NEWS TIP? TEXT 248-617-7715

BOOK MSN TODAY

bottom of page