MILLINGTON – In celebration of the first twenty seasons of Millington girls varsity soccer, the current and previous coaches worked together to select the ‘Top 20 in 20’, which was released in a series over this past week focusing on the top twenty players from the program’s first twenty seasons broken down by positions. Over this program’s first twenty years, five players have been and selected and recognized by the Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association as receiving All-State Honors in Division 3. Those five players are: Amanda Weber, Vanessa Nelson, Carren Crossen, Elizabeth Selich, and Kayla Petzold.
“Being selected to the All-State team in any sport is such an honor,” Millington soccer coach Andrew Selich said. “The All-State team in soccer is not selected by the Associated Press like in some of the other sports, it’s is chosen by the coaches through the MHSSCA. It is very select, and a difficult process. The players are nominated at the end of the season and then are selected first for the All-District team by the coaches in that district. After that, the process of advancing for All-State honors gets more selective, as usually those spots on All-Region teams are selected from the teams that advance further in the state playoffs. So, for Millington to get any players from our school especially because individual honors like this are always a reflection on how respected our team is overall.”
Amanda Weber was named Honorable Mention All-State as a Goalkeeper by the MHSSCA in Division 3 after the 2004 season. That season for the Cardinals, Weber made 179 saves while allowing just 32 goals in 20 games. She ended the season with an overall record of 11-5-2 and a goals against average (GAA) of just 1.60. Over her career, Weber recorded 18 wins and eight shutouts, and earned All-Conference honors for two straight seasons on varsity.
“I have some great memories from my time spent playing soccer,” Amanda (Weber) Simcox said when asked about what she remembers most about her time playing in Millington. “We really held our own against the tougher teams in the area despite being a newer program. I remember my senior year against Nouvel (one of the top soccer programs at the time) we were tied 0-0 at halftime, and their coach made a comment about how frustrated his team was as they were used to dominating and controlling the game. That speaks volumes about how well we were able to work together on the field. My time playing meant that I was able to help set a precedent for future teams to aspire to and to motivate them to continue improving.”
Vanessa Nelson was named Honorable Mention All-State as a defensive player by the MHSSCA in Division 3 after the 2004 season. Nelson was the leader of a Cardinal’s defensive unit that season that allowed just 25 goals in 18 games (an average of 1.38 per game), while also contributing to eight shutout wins and an overall record of 11-5-2. Nelson also added three goals, four assists, 67 steals, and was named All-Conference after the season as well.
“The now recognized Millington varsity sport started out as a group of acquaintances that all shared a love for the game of soccer,” Vanessa (Nelson) Riley said when asked about what playing soccer in Millington meant to her. “That love turned the group into a club sport. By the time we, the original crew, graduated I felt as if we had started something great that could continue for years to come. We started as teammates, and we left with friendships that have lasted these past twenty years. I hope that current players are able to pass on their love of the game to their underclassmen and that they forge friendships that last them beyond high school.”
Carren Crossen was named Honorable Mention All-State as a Midfielder by the MHSSCA in Division 3 after the 2004 season. Crossen did her part to help the Cardinals win a program record 11 wins in one season in her senior year, leading the team with 109 steals while adding to the offensive with 10 goals and three assists.
“I grew up watching European soccer with my dad and since a young age I had a passion for the game,” Carren Crossen said when asked what did playing soccer for Millington mean to you. “Growing up in Millington, I wasn’t sure I would have the opportunity to play in high school, but luckily the soccer program started my sophomore year. It meant so much to me and my family that I was able to play in high school because we weren’t entirely sure I would be able to. The camaraderie and friendship I had with my teammates was unique and unforgettable. We brought the same mindset to the pitch, which helped us excel and ultimately win games.”
Elizabeth Selich was named Honorable Mention All-State as a Midfielder by the MHSSCA in Division 3 after the 2017 season. That year, Selich helped her team to a nine-win season while also helping the Cardinals make the program’s first appearance in a District Championship game since the 2008 campaign. In 2017, Selich knocked in nine goals and set a school record with 23 assists in 21 games. She was named First Team All-Conference in the Tri-Valley East, All-Area in The Tuscola County Advertiser and The Saginaw News, as well as being named All-District and All-Regional the same season.
“What really sticks out to me as far as playing soccer at Millington is all the memories I made with my teammates,” Elizabeth Selich said when asked about what she remembers the most about her playing days. “I grew up playing soccer with most of the girls, through AYSO, and seeing how everyone developed not only into their athleticism and their roles on the team, but into respectful young adults is something that will stick with me forever. I hope the current players remember that no matter what teams they play, not matter what their record is, how much time they get on the field, they’ll always have their teammates to stand next to them. Especially now, with everything going on, with a season being lost, your teammates are as important as your family.”
Kayla Petzold was named Honorable Mention All-State as a Forward by the MHSSCA in Division 3 after the 2017 season. In the 2017 season, Petzold set a school record by scoring 25 goals while adding 12 assists. The 37 total points for the season is also a school record. For her efforts that season, Petzold was named First Team All-Conference, All-District, All-Region, was selected as The Tuscola County Advertiser’s Girls Soccer Player of the Year and was selected to the Saginaw News/Mlive All-Area Dream Team.
“I miss being a part of something bigger than myself,” Kayla Petzold said when asked what she misses most about playing soccer. “The game requires you to trust and rely on others in order to succeed. Although my soccer career is over, I carry the lessons I’ve learned with me everywhere I go. You have to work hard to get what you want while still being selfless in the process.”
The Millington Girls Varsity Soccer program would like to say thank you the former coaches for the assistance in putting together the Top 20 in 20 team. Dawn Meacham, Bryan Bassett, and Aaron Chamberlain … Millington girls soccer says thank you to each of you for your contribution to not only this but to the program overall. And to the former players for participating in the All-State edition … thank you to you and to everyone else who has worn the red and white for Millington girls varsity soccer, not just the selections for this All-Time team but to everyone. Thank you for your contribution … thank you for being a part of the first twenty years … and thank you for your time, your efforts, and your love of the game. Always remember …. ONCE A CARDINAL, ALWAYS A CARDINAL!