2017-04-27 / Sports

Speedster follows in footsteps of Munoz

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff

When the season began, Leland coach Joe Burda said he had hoped to see breakout seasons from girls hiding in the shadows of Libby Munoz.

Ten games into the season, it’s safe to say sophomore forward Mollie Grishaw has stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Grishaw took a backseat to Munoz in 2016, contributing 19 goals and nine assists, but she’s been far more than a sidekick so far this spring.

The fleet-footed finisher has found the back of the net 15 times in 10 games, meaning she’s on pace to eclipse the 30-goal plateau by the end of the season.

The Comets (5-4-1, 3-1 Northwest) may not have replaced Munoz’s 2016 production—64 goals and 15 assists—but they have found the heir apparent to Michigan’s all-time leading scorer.

“Her speed is her best weapon,” Burda said. “She is a different player than Libby, and I think Libby would be the first to tell you that is why. Libby could create her space to finish wherever she was on the field, and her numbers proved it. Mollie uses her speed to put her past the defense and create a lot of breakaway goals. She will only get better as she is working on creating space and not just relying on her speed.

“She also lives to play the game.”

Grishaw had the luxury of learning from the best as a freshman, and she took full advantage. In fact, the two trained together last summer before Munoz took off for Kalamazoo College.

Munoz was impressed.

“She’s an extremely hard worker,” said Munoz, who also helped Grishaw land a spot on her former club team last fall. “That’s not something you can teach someone. She just makes the choice to work hard and push herself. I think she’s constantly looking for things she can do to get better.”

Grishaw often does so by reaching out to her former teammate via text.

She said she’s been sending Munoz a “rundown” after every game.

“It’s just super nice to know that she’s supporting the team and supporting me even though she’s not here anymore,” Grishaw said.

She may not be chasing Munoz’s place in the record book, but she’s certainly carrying the torch as Leland’s leader in offensive production.

At any rate, the up-and-comer seems to have the competitive edge to keep the Comets in games. Leland is 5-1-1 when Grishaw finds the back of the net and 4-0 when she scores two or more.

“I just go into every game thinking I have to get on the board to give my team a chance to win,” she said.

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