BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
The Grosse Ile girls’ soccer team’s season may have ended in the regional championship game in PKs, but the loss, after all, was the Red Devils’ first of the season. And like any good team should do, they left it all on the field.
“After the game, the other coaches and I could only tell them how proud we were,” Grosse Ile Coach Amy Rossow said. “We always ask the girls to leave it on the field and they did in every game, especially this game. They understood that they had achieved and earned great things this season, and hopefully they realize what their hard work had achieved.”
As the regional final game went on, Rossow knew it was important for her Red Devils to stay focused through the obstacles and swings of momentum. It was Grosse Ile who had a 2-0 lead at the half, but after a long rain delay and a quick change of momentum, the Mustangs tied things up.
“We spoke mostly about focus; to keep playing our game and to be patient,” Rossow said. “When we made those costly mistakes — we spoke about shaking it off, fixing those mistakes and to keep playing hard. The seniors helped to support the coaches, to play our game, and we continued to work extremely hard on the field and supporting the team from the bench.”
The Red Devils bowed out of the state tournament with a 23-1-1 record and had much to reflect on through the spring.
“Throughout the season the girls worked hard,” Rossow said. “They knew they had something to prove — that they could do what they did before — go through the season strong and competitive and make a run in the post season.”
The team’s nine seniors helped to contribute to that success.
“The seniors were great,” Rossow said. “They helped to keep the others focused and showed their dedication everyday by their work ethic (and) I know this attitude translated to the underclassmen.”
It was an aspect of the senior class that made Rossow proud.
“Their growth — they always worked hard to compete — however, their leadership and lessons they taught the underclassmen was very inspiring,” she said. “These seniors worked together with all of the girls, no matter what age group. They instituted a mentality of working hard and earning your time on the field. These seniors calmed down the girls when needed, excited the girls when needed and chastised the girls when needed. They were the leaders that coaches always wish for.”
Rossow expects that same work ethic with next year’s group of seniors who she says have a very competitive drive.
“About four years ago, we had another group of seniors with the same positive qualities and we have been fortunate that these qualities have been inherited by the senior class year after year,” she said. “We are looking forward to the goofiness and competitive spirit of those who are returning and those who are entering the program.”
While this season ended just short of the ultimate goal, Rossow said she could not have been more proud of her team.
“I was the most proud of their focus and their camaraderie,” she said. “Freshmen ride to practice with juniors, seniors pick up and help sophomores — everyone worked together and helped each other. These girls were willing to work in practice and the captions had the girls meeting on the weekend for conditioning. The work ethic and willingness to work from start to finish was very inspiring.”