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Women's Pro-Am Soccer

Detroit Sun FC Beat Michigan Legends FC In Home Opener

By Seth J. Walker

Pontiac, Michigan- The Detroit Sun FC came out for their home opener against the Michigan Legend FC attacking, and that’s how they ended their contest, Friday night, attacking, wining 4-1.  The Legends got things going with a goal in the first six minutes of play; with two former Oakland midfielders connecting, Joanie Sieja assisting Dani Evans.  Evans then returned the favor at the 17-minute mark, setting up Evans for the goal.

From there, the Legends had to play catch up, but found it difficult since they found themselves in the defensive zone so much.

“Players are good now,” Sun head coach Skipper Mukjtar Jr. said.  “Players are organized.  They want to come (and) they want to work hard.  They all have attacking minds from our center back or outside back.  Even our goaltender has a big attacking mind.  Kind of what all of our coaches install with all the players.”

Legend defender Kelly Schmidt (Madonna) managed to cut the score in half with a goal four minutes before halftime, assisted Megan Trapp (Eastern Michigan).  However, the Sun didn’t let up, with two more goals in the second half.  Evans picked up another assist off a Justine Lynn (Indian) goal at the 55-minute mark.  Then Abby Allen (Indiana) capped off the scoring, assisted by Maddison Schupbach (Bowling Green) with 13 minutes left.

“We played really well for our first game,” Sieja said.

Getting the team to play so well has its challenges according to Mukjtar, as he has a relatively short time to take players from various collegiate backgrounds to make them a cohesive unit.

“Our coaches did an amazing job the past two weeks in training,” Mukjtar said.  “Just getting and meshing girls in.  It’s hard in the summer because girls just come back and it’s hard to get them meshing.  Both of our assistant coaches did amazing jobs doing that.”

Legend goalkeeper, Izzy Nino (Michigan) despite, allowing four goals, made 11 saves, many of them critical saves which kept the score from being even more lopsided.

The United Women’s Soccer League is now in its third season of existence.  As a Pro-Am league, both former and current college players compete.  The players don’t get paid due to NCAA rules, but it provides current college players a way to continue to progress as players and current professional players a way to continue their playing careers.

“For me personally, it’s really cool because I graduated, and I just miss the competition aspect of things,” Sieja said.  “When you’re done playing in college, you just want to go out there and compete no matter what.  No matter what position, you’re playing; no matter what.  So it’s really cool to be out here and have the little girls come out here, watch, and want to be there someday and still be a part of it is something that I’m going to try to do until I’m physically can’t move anymore.”

Detroit Sun FC players stand with youth soccer players during pregame introductions.

Having earned her degree in Business Management degree in 2016, Sieja now works for a local H&R company.

“It’s not as fun as soccer, but it gets the bills paid,” Sieja said with a laugh.

The Sun now prepare for a Mother’s Day battle against Indy Premier SC Sunday at 6pm back at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac.



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