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Mustangs Advance to 14th Soccer Title Game

EAST LANSING, MI (June 13, 2024)

Following a 1-0 defeat of Dewitt in the MHSAA Division 2 state semifinal, the Mustangs will return to East Lansing in hopes of claiming the school's tenth soccer state championship against top-ranked Spring Lake. This year's finals will be a rematch of the 2021 championship that Marian won, 3-0.

The program returns for the first time since 2022 when they fell to Forest Hills Central, 2-1. Prior to the 2022 Final, Marian claimed four consecutive championships (2020 Finals were canceled due to COVID-19) under hall of fame coach Barry Brodsky. Just a year ago, Marian fell to eventual champion Grosse Pointe North in the Regional semifinal round of play. 

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

Division 2

BLOOMFIELD HILLS MARIAN
Record/rank: 15-3-3, No. 8
League finish: First in Catholic High School League Central
Coach: Danny Price, first season (15-3-3)
Championship history: 9 MHSAA titles (most recent 2021), four runner-up finishes.
Players to watch: Dani Mertz, sr. GK (0.53 goals-against average, 14 shutouts); Nia Bordogna, fr. M (5 goals, 10 assists); Olivia Zahnow, sr. D; Clair Dauer, soph. M (15 goals, 2 assists).
Outlook: Marian missed the Finals last season for the first time since 2016 (not counting COVID-canceled 2020), but have returned under Price, who played professionally in England and also has coached Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice's boys team since 2019. He inherited plenty of talent; Dauer made the all-state second team last season, Zahnow made the third team, and Mertz, junior defender Nadia Valka, sophomore defender/forward Lily Robinson and junior forward Bella Musachio all earned honorable mentions. The second-leading scorer is sophomore forward Giulianna Agrusso (10 goals, 3 assists) and three more players were next with five goals apiece entering this week. The Mustangs have not allowed a goal over six postseason games, a run that included avenging their most recent loss, to Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood. The other defeats came to Okemos and No. 11 Mason.

SPRING LAKE
Record/rank: 16-2-5, No. 1
League finish: Second in Ottawa-Kent Conference Blue
Coach: Becky May, eighth season (118-17-13)
Championship history: Division 2 runner-up 2021.
Players to watch: Jessica Stewart, sr. GK (0.76 goals-against average, 10 shutouts); Ella Andree, sr. F (12 goals, 6 assists); Clara Saunders, sr. M (10 goals, 16 assists); Aveya Patino, fr. F (27 goals, 7 assists).
Outlook: Spring Lake earned this return to the Finals for the second time in four seasons in part by defeating No. 7 Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central and No. 3 Midland in its Regional, and its only losses were to Division 3 top-ranked Hudsonville Unity Christian and No. 4 Grand Rapids South Christian. The Lakers then came back to earn a draw with Unity in the league tournament championship game. Saunders made the all-state first team last season, Andree and Stewart made the second team and senior defender Brooke Bolthouse earned an honorable mention.

COMPLETE SCHEDULE

Division 1 - Friday - 4 p.m.
Hartland vs. Rochester Adams

Division 2 - Saturday - 4 p.m.
Spring Lake vs. Bloomfield Hills Marian

Division 3 - Saturday - 1 p.m.
Hudsonville Unity Christian vs. Grosse Ile

Division 4 - Friday - 1 p.m.
Kalamazoo Christian vs. Jackson Lumen Christi

Tickets cost $11 and may be purchased online only at GoFan. One ticket is good for all soccer, softball and baseball games at MSU's Old College Field that day. All four Finals will be broadcast and available with subscription from MHSAA.tv, with free audio broadcasts on the MHSAA Network. For a complete breakdown of all matchups, read the entire article HERE

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