Fraser, MI – Playing with a target on their backs hasn’t fazed the girls from .
The Colts are in the final four for a second straight season after beating a tough Grosse Pointe South team 1-0 in the Division 1 regional finals on Friday night at Fraser High School.
“It’s really special to get back here, but the work is not done,” Colts coach Brian Zawislak said.
Zawislak’s team lost 1-0 in the finals last season to Novi and returned this spring with high expectations. So far the girls have lived up to their potential.
Troy (18-2-3) hasn’t allowed a single goal in five postseason games and continues to generate enough offense to keep its momentum going.
Leading scorer Irene Young did it again for the Colts on Friday, scoring the game-winner in the second half at the 24:54 mark.
The senior is like a hawk when it comes to seeing scoring opportunities and she put herself in the perfect spot to clean up a rebound on a shot from teammate Jennifer Busk.
Busk hit a corner kick and repositioned herself after it bounced back out for a shot that Blue Devils keeper Anastasia Diamond couldn’t corral. It bounced off her hands and Young was right there to knock it in.
“We always talk about keeping the ball alive, so when the ball popped out back from the corner on the service, Nadine (Bratu) got the ball wide, and I thought I could try to hit at least,” Busk said. “I was hoping the goalie would fumble it at least so we could get someone on the end of it. Irene finished it off nicely.”
With the way Troy’s defense is playing and in a game where scoring opportunities for both teams were at a premium, one goal was more than enough.
Grosse Pointe South (14-4-2) didn’t have any open looks in the first half and couldn’t figure out a way to get the ball behind the Colt’s backline. The Blue Devils only had one good look at the net in the final 15 minutes.
Despite the loss, coach Gene Harkins called it a “great game” and said he thought his team fought really hard. He believes the experience will benefit his team next season.
“Good part is I had seven girls injured – I lost four starters – so most of my girls are sophomores and juniors, so we are very young,” he said. “For the girls coming back, that’s the kind of game you want to have.”
Troy advances to the semifinals at Farmington High School on June 13 at 6 p.m. The Colts will play the winner of the Canton and Saline semifinal.