Detroit City FC (W) vs Kalamazoo FC

May 7, 2022
USL-W League Match
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, MI


New Season, New League, Old Foes

The wait was over.  A beautiful spring Saturday evening in May, with a breeze to carry smoke across the field from the supporters section, Detroit City FC’s Women’s Team would take to the pitch at Keyworth for their first match in the USL-W League (USL-W).  With the Men’s team’s jump into the USL Championship, it was a natural move for the Women’s team, too.  With only twelve matches on the schedule, every point would be important.

The USL-W league was made up of 44 teams divided into 7 divisions.  City is one of eight teams in the Great Lakes Conference, along with tonight’s opponent, Kalamazoo FC – a former rival of the Men’s team when they played in the National Premiere Soccer League (NPSL).  The other six clubs included Indy Eleven, Midwest United FC, Flint City AFC, Racing Louisville FC, Kings Hammer FC, and former NPSL rival, AFC Ann Arbor.  Last night, the USL-W season opened with Indy Eleven beating Kings Hammer FC in Indianapolis, 3-1.

Laura kicked off the march to the match emphasizing the importance of supporting City’s Women’s team.

Upon arrival at the stadium, the banners along the Northern Guard Supporters (NGS) section carpeted the fence-line as usual.  This banner has been on display since the Men’s opening match against the Charleston Battery on March 19th.  The league and United States Soccer Federation took offense to the imagery and profane language on it, so, instead of taking it down, NGS accurately modified it.


Earlier this week, POLITICO obtained a leaked initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, that the United States Supreme Court had voted to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in the case of Dobbs vs Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  NGS issued its dissent.


Prior to kickoff, the Northern Guard Supporters unveiled a massive tifo display.  Let them hate…as long as they fear.

Kalamazoo FC
Starting XI

Hannah Sargent – GK
Grace Labadie
Ashley Bates
Hannah Redoute
Bailey Korhorn
Anna Stinson
Kandis Orns
Olivia Depauli
Kaley Buck
Jennifer Andresen
Mary Dziuba


Detroit City FC
Starting XI

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Front Row – Left to Right

Rylee Clark – Midfielder
Kayla Whelchel – Midfielder
Gabby Schriver – Goalkeeper
Gabby Tremonti – Defender
Ellie Pool – Forward

Back Row – Left to Right

Megan Miles – Midfielder
Alia Frederick – Midfielder
Emilie Gardner – Defender
Madison Duncan – Midfielder
Kenna White – Forward
Elisa Baeron – Defender/Captain


As the match began, the women took over the capo stands in the Northern Guard section.

City held most of the possession early in the match, keeping with the pace and enthusiasm of the NGS beat.  At the 7th minute, a City corner kick floated into the box and was guided on goal by Elisa Baeron, but the shot was blocked in the chest by a Kalamazoo defender and the keeper was able to collect it.  Elisa, originally from Zeven, Germany, is in her second season with City and is the team’s captain.  Last season, she assisted on Marlee Taylor’s game-winning goal in City’s UWS season opener against the Muskegon Risers, and scored her first City goal the following week in Lansing.

Though City controlled the early possession, Kalamazoo wasn’t completely shut down.  They created a chance with a free kick just outside the top of the box in the 17th minute, but Grace Labadie’s shot struck the wall of City players set up before her.

Alia Frederick and Ellie Pool caused the Kalamazoo defense headaches all night. 

Alia, an Eastern Michigan University grad, saw action with City’s UWS and UWS2 teams last season.  During her four years at Eastern, she started 66 of the 71 matches she appeared in, with 2 goals and 6 assists.  In 2018, Alia earned UWS Midwest Conference First Team selection with the Michigan Legends.  Her Legends and EMU teammate, Megan Miles – also starting for City tonight, was named to the Second Team. 

Ellie Pool was making her first appearance with City and making a strong impression.  Ellie is a Bowling Green University junior who spent her freshman and sophomore years at the University of Toledo before transferring to the Falcons.  She was named to the MAC All-Freshman Team in 2021 and All MAC Second Team in 2022.  Her 7 goals in 2022 led the Rockets and tied for second on the club with 3 assists.  Alia and Ellie were making a lethal combination early in this match.

In the 18th minute, Alia dribbled down the right channel, then delivered a cross into the box to Ellie.  Her header sailed just wide of the frame.

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Five minutes later, Alia again raced down the right channel, beating the defender like a drum.  Her delivery of the cross to Ellie was accurate as a postal carrier.  The former Rocket fired it past Kalamazoo’s keeper, Hannah Sargent, to give City a 1-nil lead.

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Alia owned the right channel, where the handful of Kalamazoo fans watched behind the visitor’s bench, frustrated by her making a meal out of their defenders.  Another cross to Kenna White in the 32nd minute was just out of reach of the City forward.  Less than a minute later, Alia sailed another dangerous cross to Kenna, who headed (or nosed it) over the bar.  She went down in the box and play stopped.

Kenna is one of seven players who have been with DCFC’s Women’s team since its COVID-shortened first year in 2020 and scored the game-winning goal against Lansing United in the 2020 UWS Stadium Showcase Semi-Final.  In 2021, she scored four goals and added an assist in seven matches.  The Bowling Green Falcon senior rose from the turf then came out of the match for a few minutes to have her bloody nose tended to.

For the remainder of the half, City kept Kalamazoo in check and on the defensive.  Keeper Gabby Schriver had little work to do between the sticks.  A 2020 City original who split time with City’s UWS and UWS2 teams, Gabby scored a goal as a field player in Wixom against North Oakland FC for the UWS2 squad on July 22, 2021.

When the first half whistle blew, City held their 1-nil lead.

The halftime talk by Kalamazoo FC Coach Todd Wells must have been inspiring.  In the first five minutes of the second half, Kalamazoo pressed and created a few offensive opportunities.  But then momentum returned to City.  In the 50th minute, Alia Frederick again sent a cross in to Kenna White who headed it on frame.  Having seen a lot of this in the first half, Hannah Sargent was well-positioned and made the save for Kalamazoo.

In a spell of bad luck, Kalamazoo’s Grace Labadie, in relieving the City pressure, chipped the ball downfield.  It fell between Elisa Baeron and Kalamazoo’s Bailey Korhorn and bounced favorably in the direction of the Kalamazoo player.  Korhorn gained control and chipped the ball high over Gabby Schriver, which then dropped into the goal like meteor behind her.  In the 54th minute, the match was even at a goal each.

From that point forward, it was all City.  The level of intensity began to boil.  Brynn Gardner, a Bowling Green University freshman, subbed in for Kayla Whelchel in the 64th minute.  City generated chance after chance, but a goal was denied either by a blocked shot, a wide shot, or a save.  Faith Webber, a Utah Valley Wolverine sophomore, entered the match in place of Rylee Clark in the 71st minute.  As the clock leaked minutes, the crescendo of anticipation rippled through the crowd with every City foray into the Kalamazoo zone.  In typical Keyworth fashion, you just knew that the winning goal was on its way.

About three minutes into added time, Emilie Gardner took a free kick at the center of the field, about 35 yards out from goal.  Emilie, an Ohio-native who has two seasons under her wings as a Bowling Green Falcon and joins her sister, Brynn in their first season with City, fired the ball into the box.  It came down and struck the shoulder of Kalamazoo’s Kaley Buck, deflecting it into the path of City’s Faith Weber.  Faith raced to the errant ball and fired it beyond the reach of Hanna Sargent and into the back of the net for the win.




Coming into the picture, the sideline referee has his flag down and is making his way up field for the kick off.  The head referee had already pointed to the center circle, ruling it a goal.


Hidden within the clouds of celebratory smoke, the officials decided to call back the goal, baffling everyone at Keyworth. 

New season.  New league.  Old foes.

Three minutes later, as the tank of added time neared empty, Kalamazoo’s Bailey Korhorn got in alone on Gabby Schriver.  The collective gasp of the crowd was released as a roaring cheer for Gabby made a game-saving stop with her foot. Gabby’s second save of the night prevented a disappointing result in this season-opening contest.

Tonight’s Player of the Match was Alia Frederick.



Before getting into the stats, an asterisk needs to be applied here.  The quality of the stats gathered by the USL in the W-League are, dare I say it, on a level between NISA and the NPSL.  This match is a fine example, Emilie Gardner started and played the full 90 minutes, whereas her sister, Brynn Gardner, subbed in the 64th minute.  The USL-W stats had the opposite.  That said, the stats I place here are definitely unofficial, but blended between the league’s numbers and how I saw things reviewing the matches.

Detroit City FC 1, Kalamazoo FC 1
DCFC:  Ellie Pool (Alia Frederick) 22′
KZFC:  Bailey Korhorn (Grace Labadie) 55′


  • City outshot Kalamazoo 17-4.

  • City’s 17 shots:  Kenna White (5), Ellie Pool (3), Faith Webber (2), Megan Miles (2), Brynn Gardner, Kayla Whelchel, Rylee Clark, Madison Duncan, Elisa Baeron.

  • Kalamazoo’s keeper Hanna Sargent made 12 saves; City’s Gabby Schriver made 2 saves.

  • City committed 5 fouls to Kalamazoo’s 2 fouls.

  • The only yellow card issued was against Kalamazoo’s Gracie Poulsen in the 73rd minute.

  • In the 64th minute, Brynn Gardner, Emilie Gardner’s sister, subbed in for Kayla Whelchel.

  • In the 71st minute, Faith Webber subbed in for Rylee Clark.

In the only other Midwest Division action on this night, Flint City AFC defeated AFC Ann Arbor by a score of 4-2 in Flint.

City’s next match would be Thursday, May 12, 2022 – on the 10th anniversary of Detroit City FC’s first match – at Keyworth vs Racing Louisville FC.


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