Troy High’s Ally Smolinski deflects a free kick with her head during the 1st half of the Athens-Troy varsity soccer game Thursday night.
(photo by Rodney Curtis/School Life Troy)
In a close game Thursday night, Athens came out the winner against crosstown rival Troy High in girls soccer action, 1-0.
“There was one difference, one play. There was a poor clear in front of the goal and Athens pounced on it and scored. Other than that, it was very even,” said Troy High parent and former Athens soccer standout Martin Hagen. “Both of them had very good chances.”
“Well, this was a typical crosstown rivalry game,” said Athens coach Todd Heugh. “It was hard fought and a hard battle. We made the most of our one chance and we got a little bit lucky and fortunate when they were trying to press in tight at the end. We’re trying to find ways to grind out games and we did one today.”
At the other end of the field, Troy High coach Dan Troccoli said, “I thought it was an incredibly tense game. I think both teams played really well. There wasn’t much difference between either team.”
Another parent agreed.
“It was well fought. You know, these girls actually played together on club soccer, a lot of them, so there was a lot of extra energy on the field today,” said Athens parent Stephen Mounteer. “But it was even play. I think it was well played, well fought.”
And as if echoing that sentiment, a group of Troy High girls gathered at the exit gate talking about a friend on the other team who scored the only goal.
“Of course it was Skyla … of course it was; Skyla’s a beast,” said varsity players Tahra Brodbine and Mila Palincas. “She’s the best player on their team, she’s unstoppable.”
Friends? Rivals? Before the game, both teams and coaches gathered together with the family of Caroline Mayne, an Athens soccer player who just completed chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The Troy girls presented a check in the Athens’ girl’s name to the Rose Cancer Research Center at Royal Oak Beaumont, where she had her treatments.
“I thank them all for their support throughout the whole thing,” said Caroline Mayne. “It means a lot. There are kids at the cancer center — where this money’s going — that have it way worse than me,” she said after undergoing four rounds and eight treatments of chemo.
She’s ready to get back on the field. Soon, very soon.
“She has to wait a couple more weeks before she can start playing a little bit of soccer,” said father Joe Mayne.
“They’re showing us that this is way more than just a soccer game,” said Caroline’s mother Beth Mayne. “Thank you, thank you so much. I hope you both win tonight,” she said.