Article courtesy of www.miprepzone/thenewsherald.com, 4-27-18
The rivalry between Riverview Gabriel Richard and Allen Park Cabrini continued on the pitch on Thursday. The scene shifted to Cabrini High, where the host Monarchs were eyeing a season series sweep of the rival Pioneers after escaping with a 2-1 win at Richard back on March 27.
It was Richard that grabbed an early lead, but Cabrini stormed back and shut down the Pioneers in the second half, picking up a 5-2 victory to remain undefeated on the year.
Both teams were evenly matched early on, which fell in favor of the visiting Pioneers (4-3). They drew blood first just over six minutes into the contest. Lauren Majlinger was the beneficiary of an open crease and was able to slip one in to give Richard an early 1-0 advantage. They upped it to 2-0 later in the first half with just over 18 minutes to go. A free kick set up Makayela Sheppard in front to clean up the mess.
Pioneers first-year Richard head coach Phillip Hayes said he most appreciated the way his team clicked and communicated early on.
“My girls truly worked together, and they have all season long,” Hayes said. “My biggest thing has been playing together like a family, and communicating and connecting passes is a big key to that.”
The Monarchs (7-0, 7-0 CHSL 3) got that all-important third goal of the game, courtesy of a Gabriella Teems rainbow shot from about 20 yards out. Cabrini head coach Taleb Karaouni said that was huge for his team to regain momentum for the rest of the game.
“I knew that if and when we scored, we could shed (Richard’s) confidence,” Karaouni said. “That helped us open up some and give us more options. We like to set up our offense as much as we could and that first goal helped our confidence.”
Teems’ first of two goals help spurn five unanswered for the Monarchs to close out the game. She added her second tally of the game just minutes later on a penalty kick chance, tying it at 2-2 heading into halftime.
Out of the break, it was virtually all Cabrini. The first of three second-half scores came at the 33:30 mark. This time it was Teems on a corner kick that set up Makayla Sukel to collect a rebound and hammer it home. Makayla, just minutes later, assisted on the first of two goals from her sister, Madison Sukel to extend the Cabrini lead to 4-2. Madison capped off the scoring with just over 15 minutes to go in the game.
Karaouni emphasized the importance for his team to adjust to what the opponent gives them, and that was no different for the second time around against Richard.
“They changed some of their formations from the first time we played them,” Karaouni said. “I expected (Sheppard) to play up top because she is a very good player. We then started to pressure (Nichollete Holder) on defense and we settled in from about the midway point of the first half onward.”
Hayes applauded Cabrini for the level of play from both teams in their latest chapter of the rivalry.
“Honestly, it was a good match,” Hayes said. “There is nothing more you can ask for. It was two great teams out there. We had a lead and it was tied at the half, (we) played our heart out. It just came down to who wanted it more.”
Both teams will have the weekend off before resuming play next week. Cabrini will travel to play Ann Arbor Greenhills on Monday, April 30 while Richard will play at Marine City Cardinal Mooney on Tuesday, May 1.