2016-06-26 / Sports

Dream season for Lady Rams ends in shoot-out at state finale, 1-0


DREAM TEAM -- The 2016 Montrose girls soccer team recorded the best season in the school’s history, losing in the state finals by only a single point during a shootout for an 0-0 tie. The team includes (not listed in order) Alexis Rush, Kara Shelton, Paige Renshaw, Hailey Sadler, Lydia Stevens, Ellory Barnette, Hailey Jennings, Remington Hobson, Britney Evans, Emma Gipe, Allia Town, Jessica Reims, Abbie Reich, Emma Gray, Mattie Reich, Amber Wing, Zoee Robbins, Alicia Town, Jeanna Herington and Hannah Williams. (Courtesy photo) DREAM TEAM -- The 2016 Montrose girls soccer team recorded the best season in the school’s history, losing in the state finals by only a single point during a shootout for an 0-0 tie. The team includes (not listed in order) Alexis Rush, Kara Shelton, Paige Renshaw, Hailey Sadler, Lydia Stevens, Ellory Barnette, Hailey Jennings, Remington Hobson, Britney Evans, Emma Gipe, Allia Town, Jessica Reims, Abbie Reich, Emma Gray, Mattie Reich, Amber Wing, Zoee Robbins, Alicia Town, Jeanna Herington and Hannah Williams. (Courtesy photo) EAST LANSING — Montrose’s 2016 varsity girls’ soccer team journeyed much further than any other soccer team in the school’s history by reaching the Division 4 championship game on Friday, June 17, and, despite a heartbreaking loss, the Lady Rams left no doubt that they belonged on the state’s biggest stage.

“We were sort of pinching ourselves, realizing that we were about to play for a state championship, but I told our girls that every team down here in Lansing deserved to be here, including us,” said Montrose coach Jason Perrin, after watching his team lose a 1-0 decision to Gross Pointe Woods University of Liggett. “These two teams today are very similar in style and evenly matched.”

Although neither team could score over the course of 100 minutes of play that included 80 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of overtime, the stat sheet was tilted in Montrose’s direction.

“Corner kicks have been our bread and butter all season and ordinarily if we get 11 of them in a game, we are going to score,” assessed Perrin. “We had our chances, including a breakaway opportunity in the first half, but just couldn’t get the ball in the goal.”

The Lady Rams put nine shots on goal in the 100 minutes of play, matching Liggett’s shot total, but Montrose held a huge 11 to 1 edge in corner kicks.

Montrose had won its regional finals contest against Elk Rapids in a shoot-out a week earlier, so it was not a stranger to the pressure of a best-of-five penalty kicks situation. But this time, the results were anything but good for the Lady Rams.

Mattie Reich led off the shoot-out and her kick sailed over the cross bar. After Madison Jerome ‘s score for Liggett, the Lady Rams were down, 1-0, with four potential rounds remaining.

Amber Wing drove her kick solidly against the cross bar before Liggett scored again on its turn to put Montrose in a 2-0 hole. Freshman Emma Gipe then scored for Montrose, but Liggett answered with a score of its own to make it 3-1.

Ellory Barnette drove her kick cleanly past the Liggett keeper to draw her team to within 3-2, but freshman Kate Birgbauer tucked her attempt into the back of the net, just to the left of keeper Alexis Rush, to ignite a Liggett celebration and a 4-2 edge in the shoot-out.

Despite the tough loss, Perrin, whose squad entered the post-season ranked #8, was upbeat.

“I knew we would be good, but this has been a dream run we just made,” said the coach. “We grew in confidence, especially after districts and I am so proud of this team. They are exceptional on and off the field of play. They just earned Academic All State for the second year in a row, also, by the way.”

Montrose will graduate six of its eleven starters, but will also return a wealth of talent, including five freshmen and sophomores.

The Lady Rams finish the season with a 23-4-1 record.

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