Rick Ey is hesitant to credit the roller-coaster performance of his St. Charles soccer team to injuries. The third-year coach knows that a tough schedule also has been a factor.

Rick Ey is hesitant to credit the roller-coaster performance of his St. Charles soccer team to injuries. The third-year coach knows that a tough schedule also has been a factor.

St. Charles was 3-3-4 overall and 2-1-1 in the CCL before playing DeSales last Tuesday, but the Cardinals have played well against top-level competition.

On Sept. 12, they tied Beavercreek at 1. The Beavers were 8-0-2 before last Tuesday and were ranked eighth last week in the Division I state poll behind top-ranked Cleveland St. Ignatius.

The Cardinals also tied Dublin Scioto at 2 on Sept. 19 when junior forward Charlie Macias and sophomore Jake Bingham both scored and sophomore goalkeeper Adam Mesewicz had nine saves. The Irish were fourth in the Division I area coaches poll behind top-rated Gahanna.

"We have been up and down this season," said Ey, whose team plays Saturday at home against Big Walnut and Tuesday at home against Bexley. "We played well against Scioto, which is a highly-ranked team locally, and we tied them at 2. Beavercreek is one of the top teams in the state and we tied them at 1. We've been scoring a lot of goals, but we've also been giving up our share."

That's where injuries to key players and a transfer might come into the picture.

Macias, the team's top returning scorer, has been playing through a hip injury. Forward Alex Roberts, a senior captain, transferred to Westerville North and senior midfielder/defender Aaron Soto was lost for the season with a knee injury.

"Maybe we've just been unlucky with the way we have been losing players and the bench is really short right now," Ey said. "Alex Roberts went to Westerville North, but has been ineligible to play there because he scrimmaged with us in the preseason. Aaron Soto was an important player for us in the midfield and the back.

"Then we've had nagging injuries all season which have kept other players out at various times including Charlie, who injured his hip during the summer, but continues to play through it and get quality minutes."

Macias led the team with six goals with junior forward Alan Sincich had five.

"They have been responding to the challenge," Ey said. "When things don't go our way, they have responded well and tried to make something positive out of things that are negative."

The Cardinals have moved players up from the junior varsity to fill the void, including junior defender Ben Mackessy and junior midfielder/forward Jason Obergfell.

"Defense is something we want to focus on," Ey said. "They play hard and they play tough and we've been talking about things that can make an impact defensively. We want to play team defense and get consistent play without letdowns on both sides of the ball."

But after getting through the bumps and bruises of the early season, Ey likes the direction his team is taking.

"It's not too far away from where we want to be and implementing what we want to be doing," he said. "We lost some seniors and lost some impact players, but when we can still tie a couple of good teams like Scioto and Beavercreek, we can feel good about that."

•The cross country team is running on schedule, according to coach Damien Brandon.

He said the team's regimen might have caused his team to start slow, but the Cardinals are gaining ground and will be at full strength when it counts in the postseason.

"We're doing lot better than we thought we would (right now)," said Brandon, whose team will compete Saturday in the Erin L. Nance Fall Distance Classic in London. "We have had a lot of success moving up. We were getting hammered in the beginning of the season and now we are doing much better against teams that were beating us earlier."

Brandon has the Cardinals running shorter distances than most teams in the area.

"We're taking a very different approach than most high school cross country teams," he said. "Most are moving toward high mileage with the thinking that building your endurance will help. But why run nine miles every day if the race is only three?

"My training works with lower mileage and high intensity. Probably the farthest we go is 6 1/ 2 or 7 miles and that's a once-a-week thing."

Leading the team has been junior Chris Quinn, who was eighth in 16 minutes, 27.52 seconds in the Central Ohio Invitational on Sept. 19 at Three Creeks Metro Park. He also was fourth (16:26) in Whetstone's Arrowhead Invitational on Sept. 23.

"Chris has really been running some good races, including at Three Creeks," Brandon said. "He's been going strong and probably is starting to realize that he can mix it up with some of the upper-echelon guys in the area."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the St. Charles cross country, football, golf and soccer teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 19 -- Finished seventh (151) of 11 teams in the Central Ohio Invitational at Three Creeks Metro Park behind champion Westerville Central (62). Chris Quinn (eighth, 16:27.52) led the Cardinals, followed by Austin Guter (25th, 17:28.05), Eric Niemeyer (35th, 17:51.24), Andrew Zaksheske (41st, 18:04.81), Stuart Swartz (42nd, 18:06.24), Patrick Lynch (56th, 18:50.08) and Keengan Bakos (58th, 18:52.81)

Sept. 23 -- Finsihed second (71) of 13 teams in Arrowhead Invitational behind champion and host Whetstone (34) and ahead of third-place Bexley (93). Quinn led St. Charles with a fourth-place 17:26.

Saturday -- Erin L. Nance Fall Distance Classic at London

Oct. 10 -- Les Eisenhart Invitational at Thomas Worthington

FOOTBALL

Sept. 18 -- Defeated Marion Harding 41-21. Steve Lutter ran for 184 yards with touchdowns of 1, 4 and 5 yards. Dane McLoughlin also had a 21-yard touchdown reception from Shane Bauman, who also added a 1-yard scoring run.

Last Friday -- Def. Sandusky 45-0. Bauman threw 149 yards and touchdowns of 8, 21 and 32 yards and he also had a 1-yard scoring run. McLoughlin caught touchdowns of 32 and 21 yards and Vincent Spahr caught an 8-yard score. Lutter added a 1-yard run and Joe Spahr threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Sam Kolp.

Friday -- Home vs. DeSales

Of note: The Cardinals are 4-1 overall.

GOLF

Sept. 15 -- *Def. Worthington Christian 139-165 at Glenross; Def. Pickerington North 149-163 at Muirfield. Daniel Wiegandt was medalist with a 35 against North and John Paul King was medalist against the Warriors with a 33.

*Sept. 17 -- Def. Ready 153-168. Andrew Steffensmeier was medalist with a 37.

Sept. 19 -- Finished second (310) of 12 teams after winning a fifth-man scorecard playoff with host Findlay in the Findlay Trojan Invitational as Dublin Jerome (309) won. Austin Cuervo led the Cardinals with a 77.

Last Saturday -- Won the 19-team Hilliard Invitational at Heritage with 303 ahead of runner-up Dublin Coffman (310). Finished fourth (309) of nine teams in the Upper Arlington Invitational at Scioto Country Club behind champion Jerome (293). At Heritage, Jay Carroll led the Cardinals with a 73 and Wiegandt added a 74. At Scioto, Yankovich shot a 73.

Last Tuesday -- Played Pickerington North

Saturday -- Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley

Tuesday -- Division I sectional at Granville. Three teams and the top three players not on a qualifying team advance to district Oct. 13 at Apple Valley.

Oct. 10 -- At Muirfield Village for Muirfield Invitational

SOCCER

*Sept. 15 -- Def. Watterson 3-2. Eddie Evans, Charlie Macias, Alan Sincich scored. Adam Mesewicz had six saves and Kevin Colvin added another.

*Sept. 19 -- Tied Dublin Scioto at 2. Jake Bingham and Macias both scored and Mesewicz had nine saves.

*Sept. 22 -- Def Ready 4-0. Macias scored twice and Evans and Cameron Houk also scored.

Sept. 24 -- Lost to Westerville North 1-0. Mesewicz had seven saves.

Last Saturday -- Tied Olentangy at 3. Sincich scored twice and Ilich added a goal. Mesewicz had nine saves.

*Last Tuesday -- Played DeSales

Saturday -- Home vs. Big Walnut

Tuesday -- Home vs. Bexley

Oct. 8 -- At Reynoldsburg

Of note: The Cardinals were 3-3-4 overall and 2-1-1 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

*CCL contest