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GIRLS SOCCER: Rochester Adams edges Troy, advances to Final Four for the 12th time in school history


BY DAN STICKRADT

COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST | WEB AND CONTENT EDITOR | DIRECTOR OF NEWS

PH: (248) 884-1051

TW/X: @msn_stickradt @LocalSportsFans @MiSoccerNetwork


ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. – Unlike many successful girls soccer teams that Rochester Adams has produced over the last 40-plus years, this year’s version lacks a superstar.


But much like many of the other standout teams in the school’s deep and storied history, the 2024 version is still very much alive and playing deep in the postseason.


Sixth-ranked Rochester Adams outplayed third-ranked Troy in all phases of the game Thursday and wound up ousting Troy from the postseason with a 1-0 double-overtime victory in the Division 1 regional finals at Rochester Stoney Creek.


Adams (14-2-2) advances to next week’s Division 1 Final Four at Troy High School, where the Highlanders will face the winner of Friday’s regional finals match featuring honorable-mention Salem and unranked Grosse Pointe South. The state semifinals will be June 11 at 7 p.m.


The Highlanders move into the state semifinals for the first time since 2012 – a year they lost to Troy in the Final Four – and will play in the state semifinals for the 12th time in school history. Previously, Adams reached the Final Four in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2012 and snapped a 12-year drought with the regional title Thursday night.


“The playoffs are crazy. Anything can happen,” beamed Adams coach Josh Hickey, who guided the Adams boys soccer team into four Final Four appearances since 2009 including the 2022 state championship. “I thought our defense was outstanding in this one. They have been solid all year long.”




Rochester Adams, which has allowed two goals in a game only twice this season and one goal nine times against seven shutouts, finished in a three-way tie for second place with Troy Athens and Rochester Stoney Creek in a loaded Oakland Activities Association-Red Division all with identical 3-2-1 records and all behind league champion Troy (4-0-2). The Colts defeated Adams 2-1 back on April 4 in just the third game of the season.


Troy (14-2-3) held the upper hand in terms of possession and dictated the flow of the game in that previous match some two months ago. Not this time around.


Adams made several tactical changes before the game and it worked to near-perfection. The Highlanders controlled play for long stretches, shut down the Colts’ high-scoring attack, in particular sophomore Olivia Jasiewicz, clogged up the backfield and dominated play in the midfield.


“I think anybody that is going deep in the playoffs you got to utilize scouting and watch (your opponent closely),” offered Adams coach Josh Hickey. “We watched them  (closely) and they watched us when we played them in the (regular) season. But Troy is good, they are hard to beat, and they score a lot (of goals). So, we had to take those things into account and we have good defensive players. But there are some tactics involved. They had tactics, too, and I think it was very similar to be honest with you to what was going on. I think, honestly, I’m so proud of our defensive effort. That’s what stood out to me the most.”



Adams ended up out-shooting Troy 11-5 overall, including 7-4 with shots on frame, and even held a 7-1 advantage on cornerkicks in the contest. Sophomore Lexi Calcamuggio was active in the box when needed to be, snaring a couple of crosses and set pieces out of the air and finishing with four saves on the night.


The Adams backline of senior Catherine Delikat, sophomore Maya Orlowsky and juniors Kaitlyn Dempster and Samantha Hawkins provided a stern line of defense in front of Calcamuggio to aid the Highlanders’ second shutout in four postseason games and post the team’s seventh shutout overall.


Much like during its 1-0 shootout win over Division 1 honorable mention Rochester in last weekend’s district finals, Adams stepped up the defensive effort to nullify the opposition’s speed and offensive weapons. The Highlanders kept the Colts’ normal high-powered engine sputtering for most of the night and simply frustrated Troy, especially in the second half and overtime.


The Highlanders, who have outscored the opposition 53-13 this season, were a bit unlucky in regulation, hitting the goalpost and crossbar once apiece and even had a goal called back with 2:36 remaining in regulation when it was ruled that and Adams player bumped into Troy junior goalkeeper Sophia Peronis  in traffic before the shot was attempted.


Adams (14-2-2) finally broke through with the game-winner with 1:33 remaining in the first of two full 10-minute overtime periods. Corralling a long ball about 25 yards out in front of the goal, senior Evelyn Kekhoua flicked the ball backwards to an onrushing senior Danielle Danko, who redirected a shot just outside the box that deflected off Peronis’ hands before spinning into the goal for the game’s only tally.


“I wasn’t really sure where the ball was going to go, so I just tried to put my body around the defender. I got a foot on it and I got lucky flick on and it happened to go in. I’m super excited for us,” smiled Danko. “I’m proud of our team. This was a total group effort.”



Much like it had all game, the Adams defense stood strong and only allowed two shots during the 20 minutes of overtime.


“We won many of the 50-50 balls up front and the second (chances) were huge for us. It just gave us a chance in the end. We just had to gut it out,” said Hickey, who was an assistant coach the last time Adams won a regional title in girls soccer.


Troy, which owns a 50-16 scoring edge this season and outscored its three previous postseason foes 11-1, simply could not find the rhythm the Colts were used to enjoying during the rest of the campaign in suffering just its second loss of the season.


“(Adams) dropped everybody back and they had a sweeper that’s playing 20 yards off the ball,” offered Troy coach Dan Troccoli, who only loses one starter off the regional finals lineup and another player who has been out with a knee injury the last three weeks. “They got their foot on the ball and cleared everything. It was a different strategy this time compared to the last time and all they did was try to kick the ball away.


“We were there (as opposed to Tuesday’s subpar performance in a 2-0 win over St. Clair Shores Lakeview),” continued Troccoli. “We came ready to play. Adams just had a completely different strategy and it worked for them. It’s not exactly what you see at the national level but it worked.”


As for Danko and her teammates, reaching the Final Four was something that was far from their minds two years ago when they had a much younger team. Now, the Highlanders are on an eight-game win streak and playing in the state semifinals for the first time in 12 years – when the current seniors were finishing up the first grade.


“It sounds amazing and feels even more amazing,” added Danko, one of 10 seniors on the roster and a fourth-year varsity player, about reaching the Final Four. “I’m just so proud of us and the hard work all season that I’m happy that this is not our last game this season. We get to keep going.


“It feels amazing because last year we got (knocked) out in the first game of districts and to be all the way in the Final Four and be in the top teams in the state – that feels absolutely amazing,” added Danko. “I could literally never imagine this happening, so it feels so great.”



(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.) 






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