By: Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Manchester Soccer team moved one step closer to wrapping up the regular season, winning both contests last week.
May 14 the Lady Dutch hosted Onsted at home on senior night, winning 10-0. The No. 5 ranked Lady Dutch had enough goals (8) to end the game before the first half ended but MHSAA rules mandated that the first half be played out.
After the game, the Lady Dutch celebrated senior defenders Sirona Brower and Rylee Cole, and midfielder Lauren Sprau at midfield with pictures, flowers, and future collegiate plans.
The win put Manchester’s record at 10-0 in the Independent Soccer League (ISL) East, clinching the title.
May 17 the Lady Dutch traveled to Lenawee Christian to face the Cougars, winning 8-0 with 20:00 remaining in the second half.
Sophomore Rylee Spitler (2), sophomore Natalie Bargardi, junior Emma Mrocko, and junior Rayna Edwards gave the Lady Dutch a 5-0 lead heading into halftime capped off by a free kick goal from Spitler that fooled the wall and Lenawee Christian goalkeeper by slotting it low into a corner.
After halftime, junior forward Avery Collins scored from inside the 18-yard box on an assist from Edwards with 26:44 remaining. Edwards notched the seventh goal and Mrocko tallied the last goal with twenty minutes remaining for the win.
With playoffs right around the corner and the back half of the schedule being teams the Lady Dutch have already defeated, Manchester’s head coach Travis Baker wants to keep the team fresh.
“Just making sure we’re staying sharp,” said Baker when asked about what he was using the last stretch of regular season games before playoffs begin. “We set the goal at the beginning of the season to win the ISL so we still have that to play for, we just need to continue to make sure we’re sharp on the ball.”
Baker also talked about rotating in more players to give everyone the most rest possible before a playoff push.
The Lady Dutch play Clinton (5/21) and their crossover contest before a second-round district match up against Hanover-Horton on May 31 at Alumni field.