Boys soccer team off to strong start
The Bexley High School boys soccer team started slow last season, not winning a game until September.
While that squad overcame its early struggles to win a Division II district championship, this season's Lions are ahead of last year's curve. They are 4-0-2 overall entering an MSL-Ohio Division game Thursday, Sept. 13, against Lakewood at home.
"We find ourselves a quarter of the way into the season in a much different place than we were a year ago, at least in terms of wins and losses," coach Greg Kullman said.
"However, our schedule hasn't been nearly as front-loaded with top opposition as it was a year ago. We certainly can't get caught up in thinking we're really good, because we aren't. Can we be really good? Sure, but that's going to take a lot of hard work from our players and coaches before that happens."
Jacob Cini and Jacob Hodge have led the way on offense with six goals apiece. Micah Linger has four goals and Will Gingery has three.
"Our defense continues to be a work in progress and we continue to move pieces around and search for players who can help us," Kullman said. "We're challenging our players to focus on getting better each day and, if that happens, I'm confident we can compete against the better competition in central Ohio."
Sebastian Parra-Maya recorded 11 saves in the first five contests then stopped 10 shots in a 1-all tie against Worthington Christian on Sept. 8.
Despite its improved record, Kullman cautions his team has work to do.
"We have good players who can create opportunities, (but) we haven't finished chances at a very good percentage, and that could potentially hurt us if we don't fix it," he said.
"Further, we've given up a number of opportunities where we've been lucky the opposition hasn't finished better. The key moving forward is understanding the importance of keeping our shape when we lose possession of the ball, and creating opportunities and executing better in the final third."
Girls soccer coach wants consistency
The girls soccer team wasn't satisfied with its 2-1 home loss to defending Division II state champion DeSales on Sept. 8.
"To be honest, I thought we were the better team," coach Jared Dombrowski said. "We had our opportunities. We played well. We just had a couple setbacks defensively.
"It's kind of a double-edged sword. We know we competed against the best supposedly of what central Ohio has to offer, but we can do better. I'm proud of the girls. We were down 2-0 and it's kind of frustrating. You know you're in the game and dominating long stretches of the game. We just can't seem to close things out sometimes."
Dombrowski said junior Sarah Dawley and senior Jill Clark are players who have performed well along with senior goalkeeper Emma Murphy, who recorded back-to-back shutouts before the DeSales game.
"Consistency is the key," said Dombrowski, whose team is 3-4 overall. "Right now it's hit or miss. It's a mindset. I've tried different personnel and different formations.
"It just comes down to a mindset. The girls need to take it personal and be willing to lay it on the line."
Football team opens league play
The football team plays host to Granville in its MSL-Ohio opener Friday, Sept. 14, after falling at home to Hamilton Township 45-21 on Sept. 7.
Jacob Old (2 yards), Rasheed Morgan (96) and Greg Miller (19) had scoring runs against the Rangers, who improved to 3-0 while Bexley dropped to 1-2.
The Lions defeated Berne Union 30-0 on Aug. 31.
Granville improved to 3-0 by winning at Jackson 28-14 on Sept. 8.
Quarterback David Fraley, the district Player of the Year in Division III last season, threw for eight touchdowns and 509 yards in the first two games for Granville.
The Lions play at Lakewood on Sept. 21.