MILLINGTON – The Millington girls varsity soccer team gets the high school spring sports season started on Wednesday, April 7, when the Cardinals travel to Hemlock for a Tri-Valley West Conference matchup. After having the 2020 spring season canceled due to COVID-19, the Cardinals are excited and a bit anxious to get the 2021 season underway.
“We are ready to play,” Millington coach Andrew Selich said. “It’s been a while since we had a game. Our last game was back on May 22, 2019, and since then we’ve had a lot of practices. But no games. So, yes we are excited and we are ready to go.”
The Cardinals will look to senior Goalkeeper Hannah Bees this season to lead the team. Bees, a four-year starter in net, is a two-time All-Conference and All-District selection and was named First Team All-Area by The Tuscola County Advertiser in 2019. For her career, Bees has made 436 saves, including a Millington girls soccer single-season record of 248 in 2019, and has recorded six shutouts for the Cardinals.
“Having Hannah back in the net should give us a lot of confidence going into the season,” Selich said. “She is a natural leader and a good athlete. She has good mobility and good hands when she gets them on the ball. Hannah is one of our captains this season, and I am expecting big things from her this year.”
The Cardinals return two other All-Conference players from 2019 in senior forward Sarah Simpson and junior forward Vanessa Selich. Simpson earned All-Conference honors two years ago after leading the team in goals scored with seven from the midfield position. This season, Simpson will move up to forward in an effort to help generate the offense.
“Sarah is a talented ballhandler,” Coach Selich said. “She started her freshman season at Center Back and has really blossomed into an offensive talent. She moves well with the ball and has worked on finishing at the net. Another team captain, and another player to watch this season.”
Vanessa Selich ended the 2019 season as the teams leading scorer with 14 points, made up of six goals and eight assists. She was an All-Conference and All-District selection that season and has spent the last two seasons working on her overall game.
“Vanessa is a tough kid,” Coach Selich said. “She is the one that will do anything to get that ball in the net, whether that means using her head, her feet, or whatever it takes to get the goal. And she understands the game, has a high soccer IQ, and she has a drive to succeed.”
The third captain this season for the Cardinals is senior defender Kierrah Butterfield. A three-year starter, Butterfield will be counted upon to lead the defense this season, which will feature a few new players and few returners as well. Returning on defense will be junior Isabelle Basner, while a trio of newcomers in sophomores in Georgia Peters, Nicole Raleigh, and Alandra Breinager will be counted upon to help the Cardinals defense in 2021
In the midfield this season, the Cardinals will look to returning players such as Emma Hoard, Olivia Williams, Emily Wisenbaugh, and Emma Walker. Newcomers such as Hannah Cook and Sydney Livingston will be looked to for solid minutes throughout the season. At forward, returning junior Danielle Kociba, who recorded seven goals in 2019, will be looked to for some offensive punch throughout the 2021 season.
“We are just excited to get this season started,” Coach Selich said. “We have 22 girls on the roster, and the girls have good chemistry. This is our first season playing in a new conference, and with last season being canceled, we really have no idea what to expect from our opponents. So, we are just hoping to be competitive, and we just want to play.”
2021 Millington Cardinals varsity soccer roster
# Name Grade
1 Hannah Bees 12
2 Georgia Peters 10
3 Hannah Cook 10
4 Danielle Kociba 11
7 Alandra Breinager 10
8 Kierrah Butterfield 12
9 Alexis Bates 11
10 Vanessa Selich 11
11 Emily Wisenbaugh 11
12 Isabelle Basner 11
14 Erin Ertman 9
17 Sarah Simpson 12
20 Erin Fitch 10
21 Sydney Livingston 9
22 Charlotte Ratza 9
23 Olivia Williams 11
24 Nicole Raleigh 10
25 Emma Hoard 11
26 Solana Garza 12
33 Reese Ehrhardt 11
42 Naomi Williams 9
85 Emma Walker 11
Millington Cardinals – Girls Varsity Soccer 2021 Season Preview
Head Coach: Andrew Selich (7th season) Assistant Coach: Danyel Dormire
Key Returnees: GK Hannah Bees, F Sarah Simpson, F Vanessa Selich, MF Emma Hoard, D Kierrah Butterfield, F Danielle Kociba, MF Olivia Williams, D Isabelle Basner
Key Newcomers: D Georgia Peters, MF Hannah Cook, D Nicole Raleigh.
First Game: Wednesday, April 7, at Hemlock. 4:30 pm kickoff.