Irish getting boost from j.v. program
Dublin Scioto High School field hockey coach Jason Perlman was concerned about the future of his program when his team finished the 2010 season with only 10 players on its roster.
Two years later, 21 athletes showed up for tryouts, giving the Irish enough players to field a junior varsity squad for the first time in Perlman's four years as coach.
Perlman said the influx of players should benefit the varsity immediately and in the future.
"The fact that we were able to more than double our numbers in two years is a testament to how well our team has promoted the sport," he said. "It will be nice for our newer girls to have the opportunity to learn the sport while playing at the j.v. level instead of getting thrown into varsity games right away. Having a j.v. team also is a big boost for our varsity kids, because they will get to play together more instead of having to make way in varsity games so that we can get our younger kids more experience. That should make us more competitive now and in the years to come."
Scioto opens with a Central Ohio Field Hockey League contest Monday, Aug. 27, at Lancaster. The Irish beat Lancaster 5-4 in overtime last season for their only win en route to finishing 1-15 overall and 1-10 in league play.
The Irish feature six third-year starters in senior midfielder Maggie Brannam, junior defenders Madeline Baron and Amel Khalife, junior midfielders Brooklyn Robertson and Danielle Skillman and junior forward Mackenna Vargo. Robertson was honorable mention all-league a year ago.
Senior Kelley Krier and junior Angela Lontoc are second-year starters on defense, while sophomore Brenna Hubschman will start in the midfield and sophomores Emily King and Nikki McFadden will start at forward.
Freshman Sarah Mitchell will start in goal in place of 2012 graduate Katie Pezzot, a four-year starter who was second-team all-league last season.
"We have a new goalie, but our defense could be our strength because we have four experienced players starting back there," Perlman said. "As strong as our defense plays will determine how strong our season is."
The Irish finished 15th in the COFHL last season behind Columbus Academy (10-0-1), Thomas Worthington (10-0-1), Bexley (7-4), Granville (7-4), Dublin Jerome (7-4), Upper Arlington (7-4), Watterson (6-4-1), Olentangy Liberty (6-5), Hartley (6-5), Olentangy (6-5), Coffman (5-6), Columbus School for Girls (4-6-1), Worthington Kilbourne (2-9) and Olentangy Orange (2-9) and ahead of Lancaster (0-11).
Scioto lost to seventh-seeded Upper Arlington 3-0 in its district opener at UA.
"We need to learn to win and get to the point where we expect to win," Perlman said. "I think we can surprise some teams because we have the talent to win. We just need to learn to play at a high level every game."
Celtics hoping to go further in postseason
Jerome opens Monday, Aug. 27, by playing host to Watterson in a league game.
The Celtics finished 7-7 overall last year after opening the district tournament at home with a 2-1, double-overtime loss to Toledo Maumee Valley Country Day.
"It seems like we always falter within the first two rounds of the district tournament, so the girls would like some redemption," ninth-year coach Colleen Bender said. "We need to do a good job of finishing our chances in the circle to have a good season."
Six starters are back in junior forward Kylie Huesman, junior midfielders Katie Kendall and Ashlynn Burns, senior defender Anna Silvestri and junior defenders Tara Blake and Emma Frazier.
Jerome's first-year starters are juniors Rachel Keating (forward), Cami Kowalski (midfielder), Christina McGregor (defender) and Alex Petersen (forward).
Vying to start in goal are junior Prathibha Srikantan and freshman Claire Prenger.
Filling out the lineup are seniors Andrea Decker (midfielder) and Ericka Roberts (forward), juniors Danielle Baiocchi (midfielder), Tara Blake (defender) and Kate Frabott (midfielder), sophomore Madison Redd and freshman McKenna Russell.
"We have 36 girls out and they get along together really well," Bender said. "We have our most experienced players back on defense and our defense should be our strength."
Shamrocks return seven starters
Coffman opens Aug. 30 with a league game at Watterson.
The Shamrocks finished 8-9 overall last year after opening the district tournament at home with a 2-1 overtime win over Olentangy before losing to host Academy 8-0 in a semifinal.
All three of Coffman's defensive starters are back in senior Kaitlyn Zavesky and juniors Katie Lemieux and Kate Meeks.
Last year, Lemieux scored three goals and was honorable mention all-league, while Meeks was second-team all-league.
Four other starters have returned in senior Lexi Minnick (midfielder), juniors Carly Anson (forward) and Maria Guerrero (midfielder) and sophomore Abbey Willette (midfielder).
Completing the roster are seniors Aseel Alkhalaileh (midfielder), Peggy Malloy (forward), Josephine Miragliotta (forward) and Mary Zinfon (forward), juniors Morgan Aumiller (defender), Allison Durthaler (goalie), Marisa Martin (midfielder), Kelly Murphy (forward), Emma Vander Stoep (midfielder) and Kaitlin Whitty (forward) and sophomores Emily Goliver (goalie) and Abbey Willette (midfielder).