Cincinnati Mariemont has been averaging 2.8 goals per game during its 7-1-2 start, but might find it difficult to get anything past the host Bexley High School girls soccer team Saturday.

Cincinnati Mariemont has been averaging 2.8 goals per game during its 7-1-2 start, but might find it difficult to get anything past the host Bexley High School girls soccer team Saturday.

The Lions, who are 8-0-2 before playing Heath today, allow only 0.3 goals per game and have posted seven shutouts. Since its 2-all tie with Thomas Worthington on Aug. 27, Bexley has only allowed one goal.

"We're still very much a work in progress," said coach Scott Dempsey, whose team recorded its third consecutive shutout with a 1-0 win over Hartley last Saturday. "We have a great combination of youth and experience and we're working on pulling that together. All of the pieces are slowly but surely coming together."

The Lions were ranked first and Mariemont was eighth in the Division II state poll Sept. 21. Bexley defeated the Warriors 3-0 in 2007 and played them to a scoreless tie last year.

"We've been going back and forth for the past six years," Dempsey said. "They were first in the first two state polls and then we moved ahead of them. It should be an interesting matchup. They are usually one of the top teams coming out of Cincinnati, so it could be a nice showdown."

Bexley's defense is built around junior Kendra Wilson, senior Rachael Crane and sophomores Mackenzie Bolon, Catlin O'Hern and Lizzie Fraser as defenders. The Lions have used three keepers -- Amy Mautz, Stephanie Adler and Sarah Prader.

Playing solid defense has been a Bexley staple. Since 2007, the Lions have allowed only 15 goals with four teams (Thomas this season and Grandview and Franklin Bishop Fenwick twice in 2008) scoring two or more against them.

"Defense is something we've prided ourselves on over the years," Dempsey said. "Often we have players who are (midfielders and forwards) for their club teams but end up playing defense for us."

•The boys and girls cross country teams will be competing Saturday in the Pickerington North Invitational, but coach Eric Acton hopes the Lions will be back at the same place Oct. 31 for the Division II regional meet.

"It's hard to tell how much running that course will help us for the regional meet," Acton said. "It helps you get familiar with the course and then you have that advantage of being able to visualize your race and know what you want to do and where you want to do it. You have to be able to run point to point to be successful."

Running the course in advance didn't help the Lions much last season.

In the North Invitational, the boys finished seventh (247 points) behind Toledo St. John's Central (74) and averaged 18:04.46. The boys placed eighth (188) behind champion St. Clairsville (94) with an average time of 17:53.62 in the regional. The girls team was 10th (284 points, 22:27.8 average time) as Fort Loramie (101) won the North invitational. The Lions competed in the regional at Troy.

Acton was pleased with the girls team in Whetstone's Arrow Invitational on Sept. 23 at the Park of Roses. The Lions tied Watterson for first (40) but the Eagles took home the trophy based on the team's sixth-runner times.

Abby Arace was fourth overall in 21:56. What excited Acton was that his team's second, third, fourth and fifth runners were 36 seconds apart. Katie Wittig (22:29), Claire Beckett (22:31), Ashley Efaw (22:40) and Sara Niermeyer (23:05) were ninth, 10th, 12th and 15th respectively.

"I can't say enough about how well they were packed," Acton said. "I've never seen our team run so strong this season as they did at Whetstone. They showed so much effort throughout the race. It was one of the best races they've run all year."

The boys team was third (93) behind Division I Whetstone (34) and St. Charles (71).

Zach Arace was third (17:15), Alex Marsh was 13th (18:05) and Nathaniel Pelz was 15th (18:09).

"They struggled a little bit more and we didn't see some of the tight pack that we did with the girls, but we're starting to get into our midseason form," Acton said. "They know (a tight pack) is what we need to be successful. We have plenty of time to get ourselves in peak condition."


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for Bexley boys golf, boys soccer, field hockey, girls golf, girls soccer, girls tennis teams and girls volleyball teams:

BOYS GOLF

*Sept. 22 -- Finished third (327) behind champion Columbus Academy (303) at MSL-Ohio postseason tournament.

Sept. 24 -- Defeated Grandview 166-168. Wes Allen (38) tied Grandview's Van Miller (38) for medalist.

Last Tuesday -- Competed in Division II sectional at Players Club. The top three teams and the three low-scorers on a non-qualifying team advanced to the district tournament Monday at River Greens. There, the top three teams and the three low-scorers on a non-qualifying team will advance to the state tournament Oct. 16-17 at NorthStar in Sunbury.

BOYS SOCCER

Sept. 21 -- Def. Canal Winchester 3-1. Ross Friedman, Eric Hollis and Matt Asensio scored.

*Sept. 24 -- Def. Lakewood 4-0

Last Saturday -- Lost to Hilliard Davidson 1-0

*Today -- At Heath

Saturday -- At St. Charles

Monday -- Home vs. Watterson

*Oct. 8 -- Home vs. Granville

Of note: The Lions are 5-2-1 overall and 2-1 in MSL-Ohio.

FIELD HOCKEY

Sept. 22 -- Lost to Watterson 1-0

Sept. 23 -- Def. Worthington Kilbourne 6-0. Alli Ezzo and Gabby Goldach scored twice.

Saturday -- Lost to Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy 3-0; lost to Cincinnati Ursuline Academy 2-0

Last Wednesday -- Played Dublin Jerome

Saturday -- Home vs. Columbus School for Girls

Wednesday -- Home vs. Ottawa Hills

Of note: The Lions were 7-3-1 overall before last Wednesday.

GIRLS GOLF

*Sept. 22 -- Finished first (398) in MSL-Ohio tournament. With the win, the Lions captured the overall league title. Kathryn Rogers (90) was second.

Sept. 24 -- Finished third (169) behind champion Columbus School for Girls (149) at MOGGL. The scores were based on seven holes. Rogers (30) was medalist.

Last Tuesday -- Competed in Division II sectional at Fox Fire. The top four teams and four low-scorers on non-qualifying team advanced to the Southeast District tournament Oct. 8 at Upper Landsdown. There, the top three teams and top three golfers from a non-qualifying team will advance to the state tournament Oct. 16-17 at Ohio State's Gray Course.

GIRLS SOCCER

*Sept. 22 -- Def. Grandview 2-0. Leah Levey and Meredith DeLong scored.

Last Saturday -- Def. Hartley 1-0. DeLong scored.

*Today -- Home vs. Heath

Saturday -- Home vs. Cincinnati Mariemont

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Fisher Catholic

Of note: The Lions are 8-0-2 overall and 3-0 in the MSL-Ohio/Cardinal.

GIRLS TENNIS

Sept. 21 -- Match at Dublin Jerome postponed because of bad weather and has not been rescheduled

Sept. 23 -- Def. Columbus School for Girls 4-1

*Sept. 24 -- Match at Whitehall postponed and has not been rescheduled

*Last Tuesday -- Played Granville

Last Wednesday -- Played Reynoldsburg

Today -- Home vs. New Albany

*Saturday -- MSL-Ohio tournament at Columbus Academy

Monday -- At Wellington

Wednesday -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Oct. 8, Oct. 10 -- At Division II sectional tournament

Of note: The Lions were 7-5 overall and 2-1 in MSL-Ohio/Cardinal before last Tuesday.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 22 -- Lost to Licking Valley 25-11, 25-20, 25-20

Last Saturday -- Lost to Teays Valley 25-23, 25-10; lost to Westfall 25-18, 25-22

*Last Tuesday -- Played Heath

*Today -- Home vs. Whitehall

Saturday -- At Gahanna with Westerville North

*Tuesday -- At Granville

*Oct. 8 -- At Newark Catholic

Of note: The Lions were 2-9 overall and 1-4 in the MSL-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*MSL-Ohio contest