SOCCER: Sadie Walsh's Hat Trick Powers Saline to 5-0 Win on Opening Night


How do you follow up a great freshman soccer season on the varsity soccer team? Sophomore Sadie Walsh just raised the bar. She scored three goals as Saline defeated Grosse Ile, 5-0, to open the season on a cold, rainy night at Hornet Stadium.

It was a fine opening act for a Hornet team that went all the way to the final four in last year's MHSAA Division 1 tournament.

Norah Dawid and Kaylee Mitzel shared the shutout in goal. Sienna Snyder and Caylin Sturms also scored for the Hornets. In the junior varsity game, Clare Arvai and Sophia Sanchez each scored twice and Mady Cujar had the shutout in an 8-0 win.  Aly Broekhuizen, Sophie Roth, Natalie Mattson and Meredith Miller also scored for Saline.


"It feels really good. It felt good to get a good start," said Walsh.

The game started with driving rain coming from the northeast. The Hornets played like a team ready for the challenging circumstances.

"It tests our skill with it being all wet and the ball skips a lot - especially when passing. It's good knowing as a team we can overcome that challenge," Walsh said.

Coach Leigh Rumbold saw lots of good things from his team on opening night.

"It was really wet in the beginning. The ground was slick. We stuck to task. We've been working all week on cycling the ball and breaking lines and we did that really well today," Rumbold said.

He said in game one, he looks at four phases of the game: How they look with the ball, without the ball, and how they look when they win in transition and lose in transition.

"For the most part, I was happy with all four phases. There are still things we need to clean up on, for sure, maybe finishing up on a few more chances and be a little more clinical in the final third, but that's the last piece," Rumbold said. "I'm happy today."


Rumbold was happy, especially, with the play of Walsh.

"She was really dynamic today. When she gets in space and runs with or without the ball, she causes opponents a lot of problems. She's got one heck of a motor. She'll continue to run all day," Rumbold said. "And her finishing - I know she worked a lot on it this summer. She scored a nice goal on a volley and her third goal was driven from her left foot, so she's deadly with both feet."

Walsh scored the opening goal off of a scramble out front. The ball popped out to Walsh who drilled one past the goalie from 16 yards.

Walsh scored the second goal from a similar spot - a little closer and a little wider. After another intense scramble in front of the goal which featured great chances for Ellie Warden and Avery Nam,  Grosse Ile tried to clear the ball. Walsh stopped the ball and then turned and fired it into the net from 12 yards out.

Nora Dawid made her best save of the game to keep the sheet clean when a Grosse Ile player got behind the defense and shot from point-blank range. Dawid came out and challenged her and the shot went right to her. Dawid controlled the rebound with two opponents on the doorstep.

The Hornets scored their third goal just before the end of the first half. Nam fired a shot from the right sideline. The ball was punched away from MaKena Means in the crease, but Snyder stopped the ball from getting far. She tapped it just past the goalie and into the goal as the keeper leaped out at her.

In the second half, Walsh completed the hat trick . She ran in from the right, veered back left to avoid one defender and, as the next defender approached, fired a left-footed shot from the hash marks to make it 4-0.

Freshman Caylin Sturns capped the scoring. A Hornet (possibly Alivia Pufpaf) got stymied on her breakaway thanks to a great defensive effort. But that ball bounced out to Sturms, who was following to on the left. She made no mistake and was all smiles after her first high school goal.

Saline hosts Walled Lake Northern Thursday.

Find hundreds of photos from the game at the link: Saline Soccer vs Grosse Isle, 4-2-24 - thesalinepost (

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