OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) – Despite the winter like conditions on Monday in the state of Michigan, the Okemos girls’ soccer team braved the elements to get a quick practice in.
The Wolves are a motivated group this season and their record shows it.
Six games in, Okemos is 4-0-2 and No. 8 in the latest Division 1 state rankings. And the wins have been quite impressive.
On April 7, the Wolves took down Williamston, the reigning Division 3 state champion, 2-0, and a day later they defeated Division 1’s No. 3 ranked team, Portage Central, by the same score.
Throw in victories over Marshall and Haslett and Okemos has defeated four teams who beat them last season when they went 9-8.
“We had moments last year that definitely showed some growing pains and we’re trying to exact some revenge on those game,” Okemos second year coach and longtime assistant coach Keith Miller said. “It’s a good motivator.”
Miller has referred to this season as a ‘revenge tour’ for the Wolves, who lost just two seniors from last year’s team, and it’s driven the players to have this year’s early success.
“Being able to come out and beat the teams, who beat us, is really inspiring,” Senior holding midfielder and captain Kate Farnum said. “It gives us a lot of confidence for our games. It’s cool to see the turnaround.”
One team Okemos did beat last season was Dewitt. And the win is what started the ‘revenge tour’ mindset this season.
“In the girl’s side, I don’t think we’ve beaten Dewitt since they joined the (CAAC) Blue. So, I think that was a big monkey to get off our back,” Miller said.
Senior midfielder and Captain Ella Antcliff said, “It showed that we had good team chemistry and if we worked hard on the field then we would get the results we wanted.”
Okemos won the state title in 2006 and 2012, and Antcliff’s father, Rob, was the head coach of the 2006 team. Ella doesn’t remember that day because she was a one-year-old, but still wants to be like her dad and win the state title.