Article courtesy of MIPrepZone
ROCHESTER – The host Rochester Falcons picked up a key OAA Red win over the Bloomfield Hills Black Hawks on Thursday evening.
The Falcons got on the board just 2:27 after halftime when Gabby Gilmore spun past a defender, dribbled toward the end line and fired a shot/cross at the far post. Brenda Grijalva was making a back post run and headed it in just to make sure. The Falcons had a couple of decent chances after that to make it 2-0, but for the most part, Rochester was on defense the latter part of the second half trying, successfully, to hold off the Black Hawks and secure the win.
“That was the goal was get a quick one and then grind it out,” Rochester head coach Dustin Coleman said. “The backline has been nothing but amazing the whole year. As soon as they got themselves organized after the first couple of games, they’ve been a force,” he added.
Bloomfield Hills had numerous chances to equalize over the final 25 minutes or so; but one way or another, the Black Hawks were turned away every time including a post, a crossbar, and two balls that were cleared off the line by Rochester defenders.
“It was just trying to find the right combination, and I think you could see toward the latter part of the second half, we had the right combinations out there. Their goalie made some good saves, so credit to her and to their defending,” Bloomfield Hills head coach Alan Zakaria said. “I’m proud of the way we fought at the end, and the girls showed great resilience. It just wasn’t our day today,” he added.
The win is a welcome one for Rochester as the young Falcons team looks to solidify their place in OAA Red next year while at the same time gearing up for the playoffs.
“The whole season, we’ve been talking about staying in the Red and really working hard to grind out games knowing it’s really good competition. It feels great to get three points against a team that was looking to be at the top of the Red as well,” Coleman said. “It’s been a nice building progression throughout the whole season, and I wouldn’t even say we’ve peaked yet. I think we’re going to start peaking as we get into the districts, and a coach can’t ask for anything more than that.
The Falcons (7-5-3 overall, 1-2-2 OAA Red) have a quick turnaround playing at Clarkston on Friday in a crossover match.
Bloomfield Hills (9-2-1 overall, 3-2 OAA Red) suffers just their second loss of the season. Next up for the Black Hawks is a crossover match on Tuesday when they face the West Bloomfield Lakers.
“We like to take a growth mindset approach, and we just need to continue to get better and better each and every day. And I know we will. We’ve got great leadership and great team camaraderie and spirit. That’s going to continue to progress for us, and we’re going to continue with that.”