EAST LANSING — The Bloomfield Hills BlackHawks won their first state title by beating the Northville Mustangs 4-1 in a shootout to win 2-1 Saturday in the Division 1 title game.
“We didn’t even win a regional tournament, so it’s unrealistic for this team to go all the way to the states and dominate almost every game. I don’t think any of these girls are feeling any better now,” Senior Second Captain Drew Martin said.
The Black Hawks converted all four penalties and a final kick from Ava Badallo sealed the win and started the celebration.
“No one ever wants to lose like that or win like that. You hope you can finish it on the field,” Mustangs head coach Jeannine Reddy said. “I think both teams put on a great game.”
The hero of the shootout was goaltender Jenika Opdal, who saved two of the three shots she faced. Opdal landed the first hit on the Mustangs by diving to the left, then stopped the third hit by diving to the right, giving Badallo a chance to finish the job.
“I actually read it. We practice a lot of penalties and I’ve gotten better at reading shots,” Opdal said. “It boosted my confidence after the first one.”
Bloomfield Hills opened the scoring just over five minutes into the second half when Brooke Green penetrated deep down the left flank, cut through the inside and crossed forward where Badallo put his foot in to redirect the ball to the far side for a 1-0 Bloomfield Hills lead.
Northville equalized at 1–1 with 15:27 to play when Lauren Moraitis took a corner into the box and sophomore Kate Gonzalez sent the ball home through the crowd of players.
Both teams had excellent chances in the first half, but each lost. Bloomfield Hills appeared to come out on top in the 19th minute when Alice Spiegel’s 50-yard free kick rebounded into the box and appeared to hit the rear post; however, the game was ruled offside. About six minutes later, Northville took the player out of defense for a breakaway, but Opdal made a great save, flicking the ball over the bar for a corner.
The teams continued to exchange momentum throughout the game and each team had several chances to score a second goal, including another Bloomfield Hills goal which was ruled out for offside in the first overtime.
“I think playing at OAA Red, beating the man in our district final for 50 minutes, coming back 1-0 and winning 2-1 in the regional final just gave us that resilience,” Bloomfield Hills head coach Alan Zakaria. said. “This is what you expect from a championship match. Kudos to Northville – (they have) an incredible team and there has been a lot of ebb and flow. And I think we got through it and were able to pull it off.”
The Blackhawks will end the year 15-2-3 and bring back 15 players from this year’s team.
“We have a young team. Although our senior class was incredible. What class – talent, character, faith – everything. But yes, I think we will be strong for many years to come and it showed them what they are capable of,” Zakaria said.
Northville suffered their only loss of the year and finished 18-1-5.
“I am very proud of them. Obviously they wanted it. Everyone did it,” Reddy said. “I think both teams played hard and it was a good first division final. That’s what you want to see, in my opinion, both teams are fighting. And I think we did it.”