The Columbus School for Girls field hockey team won only one of its first seven games, but second-year coach Kara Thomas said it's important for her players to remain patient and stay the course.
Even though the Unicorns are rebuilding after losing six starters from a year ago to graduation, Thomas believes it's only a matter of time before they begin to win consistently.
Last season, CSG finished 8-9-1 overall and went 4-6-1 in the 16-team Central Ohio Field Hockey League to finish 12th behind co-champions Columbus Academy (10-0-1) and Thomas Worthington (10-0-1).
"We've started slow, but we've played some of the tougher teams in our area early in the season and we've been competitive in those games," Thomas said. "We're a young team with only four seniors in our lineup, but we've very pleased with the composure our younger players have shown when they've been thrown into tough situations. We're improving each game and I feel like we're going to start winning more games very soon."
Among the 2012 graduates was goalkeeper Teal Harrison, who is playing lacrosse at American University in Washington, D.C. Junior Maggie Jones and freshman Gennie Faber have been splitting time in goal this season.
The defense corps includes senior Evlyn Hogan, juniors Meredith Meyer and Ciru Waiania and freshman Charlotte Lennox.
The Unicorns, who beat Hartley 1-0 on Sept. 12 as junior attacker Molly Thomas scored and Jones made two saves, had allowed 15 goals through seven games.
"Our defense has been steady and both our goalies have come on real strong and done a good job of keeping us in games," coach Thomas said.
Thomas and seniors Morgan Amigo and Hailey Miller start at attack and sophomores Myrial Holbrook and Rebecca O'Donovan and freshman Isabelle Peasavento start in the midfield.
The Unicorns scored only five goals through seven games. Thomas had three goals and Amigo had two.
Thomas is the coach's daughter and the younger sister of 2012 CSG graduate Laynie Thomas, who started in the midfield last season and is playing at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.
"We're working on improving our field positioning and trying to build more offensive momentum in the circle," coach Thomas said. "We're really focusing on finishing our scoring opportunities."
CSG was 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the COFHL before facing Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 24. The Unicorns return to action Friday, Sept. 28, with a league game at Upper Arlington.
"We started the season with the tougher part of our schedule and I think that's toughened us up," coach Thomas said. "We're improving and we're heading into some games against opponents who have a more similar experience level to us, so I feel confident that we'll see some better results."
Tennis team reaches OTCA district final
The tennis team opened the Division II Ohio Tennis Coaches Association district tournament with a 3-2 win over Worthington Christian on Sept. 10.
The Unicorns then beat DeSales 3-2 in an OTCA district semifinal on Sept. 19. The match also counted as a CCL contest.
CSG finished 3-1 in the CCL and would share the league title with Watterson if the Eagles lost to DeSales on Sept. 26.
Against DeSales, Linda Yang defeated Sarah Shockling 6-2, 6-3 at second singles, Tiffany Lau beat Bri Ellis 6-1, 6-0 at third singles and Gabby Kennedy and Paige Quinton defeated Chandler Starkey and Izzy Ocampo 6-3, 6-0 at first doubles.
CSG will face Columbus Academy in an OTCA district final on a date to be announced. The Unicorns lost to the Vikings 5-0 on Sept. 12.
"Beating Worthington Christian and DeSales are the biggest highlights of our season so far because this is the first time we've ever made it to the finals of the district tournament," coach Tom Haddow said.