On Top Of The Soccer World Again
Coach Barry Brodsky and his Birmingham Marian High School girls soccer team are state champions once again.
The Mustangs defeated Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 2-1 in a battle of undefeated teams June 16 at Williamston High School, earning their sixth Division 2 state title in Brodsky’s 16 years as coach and first since 2012.
Marian also has been Division 2 state runner-up three times during Brodsky’s tenure.
This year’s state title was a bit different than the others. It was the first time Marian rallied for a victory in the state championship game.
Marian trailed Forest Hills Northern 1-0 at halftime despite dominating the game. Three Marian shots that appeared to be heading into the net were turned away by Forest Hills Northern defenders.
Playing from behind wasn’t a familiar spot for the Mustangs. Forest Hills Northern’s goal was the first allowed by Marian in seven postseason games, and the Mustangs hadn’t trailed at halftime all year.
“We played extremely well in the first half against Forest Hills Northern so we weren’t concerned, although we certainly didn’t want to fall behind 2-0,” Brodsky said. “We thought we’d have more chances to score and we certainly had the firepower to score.”
Marian’s domination continued in the second half, and this time it paid off on the scoreboard. Ellie DeConinck scored twice and the Mustangs pulled out the victory.
Marian (24-0) ended up outshooting Forest Hills Northern 18-5 and put 14 shots on goals to the Huskies’ four. Forest Hills Northern (20-1-3) took just one shot in the second half.
So was this Brodsky’s most satisfying state championship because of the comeback, or because Marian lost in the state title game in 2013 and 2014 and more recently, fell 2-1 on penalty kicks to eventual state champion Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in the state semifinals last year?
“It’s the latest state championship so winning is a great feeling, but I don’t put one above the others. They’re all special,” said Brodsky, a 1973 Southfield-Lathrup High School graduate who makes his living as a certified public accountant.
The win over Forest Hills Northern capped quite a season for Marian, which won 17 of 24 games by shutouts, outscored its opponents 105-8 including 24-1 in the state playoffs, was ranked No. 1 in Division 2 all year, and won the Catholic League championship.
Marian also was undefeated in 2004, when it went 25-0.
Brodsky has had a great run as a Jewish coach at a Catholic high school. He said he enjoys coaching at Marian and plans to continue doing it.
“We don’t talk about religion much within our team. More about life lessons, although I try to relate to things the girls learn at school,” Brodsky said.
Brodsky’s daughter Allie Brodsky played for him for four years at Marian and went on to play soccer for four years at Kalamazoo College.
“My daughter had a great experience at Marian,” Brodsky said.
Allie helped Kalamazoo win the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season title last fall in her senior year.
She’s taking a year off before she sets her sights on going to medical school.
Golf Classic Updates
There are a couple of updates from the report on the 35th annual B’nai B’rith Great Lakes Region Golf Classic held last month at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield.
Great Lakes Region scholarship winners Danielle Silverman, Rachel Pesick and Jason Jubas were honored at the dinner that followed golf.
Here’s some additional information about the recipients.
Silverman graduated from Frankel Jewish Academy and will attend the University of Michigan; Pesick graduated from Walled Lake Northern High School and will attend Florida State University; and Jubas graduated from Farber Hebrew Day School and will attend Yeshiva University.
Each received a $2,500 scholarship based on academics, need and community service.
It was the fourth year scholarships were awarded.
Bobbie Levine is the program director for the Great Lakes Region. Her name was incorrect in the story.
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