Marian (17th) and Cranbrook (1st) claim CHSL girls soccer championships

A jubilant Marian squad won the school’s 17th Catholic League girls soccer trophy by shutting out Regina 2-0 for the Bishop trophy. Now the Mustangs turn their attention to the approaching state tournament where they have won the last four Division 2 titles. (Photo courtesy of John Bingham)

MADISON HEIGHTS — Bloomfield Hills neighbors Marian and Cranbrook Kingswood claimed Catholic League girls soccer championships May 21 played at Bishop Foley High School.

For Marian, it was the 17th trophy the Mustangs have had to make room for in their collection, dating all the way back to 1987.

However, it was a new experience for the Cranes in that it was their first girls soccer trophy since the school joined the CHSL in 2010.

Bishop Division: Marian 2, Warren Regina 0

You could sense an undercurrent of unease as these Central Division foes went about their pregame rituals. They had split a pair of meetings earlier. Marian won the first encounter, 2-1, and the Saddlelites, just 11 days ago, rebounded with a 2-0 shutout for Marian’s first — and thus far — only defeat of the season.

“They smashed us,” is how Marian’s new head coach, Reid Friedrichs, described it. Friedrichs had served as an assistant to Barry Brodsky for the past four years and took the reins upon the retirement this spring of Brodsky, who led the Mustangs to nine state titles in his 20 seasons with the program.

Marian broke the tension at 13:34 of the first half when senior Angelina Briggs connected on a 35-yard free kick. Senior Isa Agrusso provided an insurance goal with 29:14 to play in the second half.

Friedrichs gave a shout-out to sophomore goalie Dani Mertz: “It was her first game since she broke her thumb a month ago.”

Marian (12-1; 10-1 Central) has won the Division 2 state championship the last four years it was played, 2017-18-19 and 2021.

“We embrace the pressure,” Friedrichs said. “We are a young squad (only five seniors) but day by day, week by week, we work on our mistakes and build relationships. I’m impressed by how fast they have come along. They play together for each other. They have a lot of spirit, a lot of personality.”

“We couldn’t execute the type of game we wanted to play today,” said Regina coach Stefano Moraccini. “I feel bad for the kids.”

Regina (10-4-1; 7-3 Central) — ranked No. 5 in Division 3 — will play Hazel Park on May 31 in a state district semi-final match.

Cranbrook Kingswood celebrates its first Catholic League girls soccer championship since the school joined the CHSL in 2010. The Cranes rallied to beat the Everest/Sacred Heart co-op squad for the Cardinal trophy. (Photo by Don Horkey | Special to Detroit Catholic)
Cranbrook Kingswood celebrates its first Catholic League girls soccer championship since the school joined the CHSL in 2010. The Cranes rallied to beat the Everest/Sacred Heart co-op squad for the Cardinal trophy. (Photo by Don Horkey | Special to Detroit Catholic)

Cardinal Division: Cranbrook 2, Everest/Sacred Heart 1

These teams met a year ago in the championship game, and it ended by a similar 2-1 score.

The difference: whereas the Clarkston Everest Collegiate/Bloomfield Hills Academy of Sacred Heart co-op team won its first girls soccer trophy ever, it was Cranbrook this time coming out on top and celebrating its first-ever championship.

All of the scoring came in the second half, starting with Morgan McNulty finding the back of the net to give CEC/ASH a 1-0 lead.

Luciana Garza sparked the Cranes’ come-from-behind rally with a goal at the 29:14 mark. Junior Lilah Chow scored the game-winner with just 73 seconds to play.

Everest/Sacred Heart (9-6-1; 4-3 CHSL AA), ranked No. 5 in Division 4, will come up against either Brighton Charyl Stockwell or Auburn Hills Oakland Christian on May 31 in a state district semi-final game.

The clash of the champions?

The odds are favorable that the CHSL champs could collide in the upcoming state tournament. Marian (12-1) — rated No. 2 in Division 2 — and Cranbrook (13-0-1), No. 8 in Division 2, are both scheduled to play May 31 in a state district semi-final match.

Marian will play either Ferndale (4-8) or Madison Heights Lamphere (13-2-1) while Cranbrook will contend with either Detroit Renaissance (1-6-1) or Livonia Clarenceville (0-12-1). The winners meet June 2 for the district title and move on to the next level in pursuit of a state crown.

A year ago, Marian beat Cranbrook 6-0 in the district final game.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].



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