Tori Singstock's knack for goals enables Detroit City FC women to vault into history
Hamtramck — In terms of execution, technique and artistry, Tori Singstock's second-half strike against the Midwest United last week merited high marks on any judge scorecard.
History, though, will view the Southgate forward's tally as one of the sweetest of all, being it is officially Detroit City FC women team’s first-ever goal.
A few days removed, Singstock recalls the strike with the same precise detail she uses to instruct pupils as a coach at Downriver Gymnastics in Southfield.
"I just saw the play breaking down,” said Singstock, 25, who came on as a substitute in the club’s debut match in East Kentwood. "It started with our center midfield (Hannah Becker) and then it went out wide to (right back) Syd (Blomquist) and she crossed it.
“I knew I had to get on the end of it. It was a perfectly placed ball.”
Midwest United replied with three unanswered goals, which erased DCFC’s singular strike in a 3-1 defeat.
The two clubs have the potential of a rematch in the United Women’s Soccer Keyworth Showcase, which kicks off Friday in Hamtramck.
Midwest United faces Livonia United at 4:30 p.m. while DCFC takes on Lansing United in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. The winners advance to the title game at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. A third-place match kicks off 3 p.m. Sunday.
Fans will not be allowed to be able to attend due to the pandemic. Matches will be live-streamed.
Despite Friday’s outcome, Singstock's blast off the outside of her right foot inside the 6-yard box heralded DCFC’s arrival into women’s soccer after the men’s side has blazed a remarkable trail the past eight years.
Coach Sam Piraine breathed a sigh a relief.
Since Piraine was hired in December, he's been busy assembling a roster and, as the coronavirus lockdown continued to throw a myriad of roadblocks, shaped a formidable squad. DCFC practiced 18 times before its first match last week.
Le Rouge features an eclectic mix — ranging from a high schooler in South Lyon midfielder Hannah Becker (Grand Valley State commit) to a 30-year-old mother of two Sarah Huge — within its ranks as well as those with international experience such as Trinidad and Tobago defender Meyah Romeo.
Singstock, who played her amateur soccer with the renowned Michigan Hawks program, embodies the caliber of player the pro-am United Women’s Soccer also helps to showcase.
She’s already done the business in college but still has something to offer. The 5-foot-3 forward tied the program record with 43 goals in 52 games at NAIA Indiana Tech.
Within the summer-run UWS, Singstock enjoyed tenures with the Michigan Legends and Detroit Sun. So when DCFC announced it was adding a women’s team late last year, the former Southgate Anderson tried out and landed a spot.
“She’s dangerous going forward by creating chances,” Piraine said. “She provided an extra spark off the bench this past weekend in Grand Rapids. It caused them to be on their back foot.
“Defensively, she added a different spark as far as movement off the ball compared to other players that we had. So it was just a nice little spark to have her on. Her experience is just something that just adds to the team of young players.”
Singstock’s gymnastics background adds another dimension. Her balance and solid frame make it difficult to knock her off the ball.
She’s also elusive, leaving defenders dizzy who have an inevitable task in trying to mark her.
“I’m always moving off the ball, I can’t stay in one spot,” she said. “I try to be creative. I know defenders complain that I move too much and they always have to keep an eye on me.”
DCFC women’s season will go by in a blink of an eye. This weekend’s tournament is expected to bring an end as the coronavirus pandemic has severely curtailed the window for the summer circuit.
Like the rest of DCFC women players, Singstock is disappointed and wonders what might have been had a full season unfolded. She's coped by living for each day brings, though.
“I'm finally glad to be back out on the field,” Singstock said.
UWS Keyworth Showcase
Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck
►4:30: Livonia FC vs. Midwest United
►7:30: Detroit City FC vs. Lansing United
►3:30: Third place match
►6:30: Championship match
Note: Due to the state's existing Executive Order related to sporting events, fans will not be permitted to attend