After struggling on offense in its first nine games, Dublin Scioto High School boys soccer coach Chad Snider thought his team needed a breakout performance.
The Irish received that with a 6-0 win over Division III Marion Pleasant on Sept. 20 at home. It was their first win of the season.
"It was a good game overall," Snider said. "It's nice to put a few in the back of the net. We're hoping this carries over."
Scioto was 1-8-1 overall and 0-3-1 in the OCC-Cardinal Division before playing Hilliard Darby on Sept. 25.
Josh Ashwill, the team's starting goalkeeper, scored two goals against Pleasant. Jack Shirley, Taylor Dyson, Shak Mirjalilov and Jack Shadoan each scored one.
Before playing Pleasant, Scioto had scored two goals in nine games, with both goals coming in the first three games.
The Irish were shut out six consecutive games, including 2-0 by host Jerome on Sept. 18.
Dyson scored in a 2-1 loss to Zanesville in the opener Aug. 21 and Shirley scored in a 1-all tie against Westerville Central in the league opener Aug. 28.
After finishing last season 18-1 overall and first in the league at 7-0, Snider knew he might face a rebuilding year after losing 12 players to graduation.
The biggest loss was Cheick Diawara, who was first-team all-state and the Player of the Year in the league and district in Division I.
Ashwill has been looked upon to provide leadership. The senior hasn't disappointed, according to Snider, helping the Irish remain competitive during a difficult season.
Through 10 games, Ashwill had 74 saves, including seven against Jerome. The Celtics' Eric Rozsits and Ian Keller scored second-half goals.
"Josh would be like a pitcher in baseball with an earned run average of one, but loses 18 games because he's had no offense," Snider said. "He would be like a Cy Young candidate. He's just been unreal."
"It's been very frustrating, but it's expected after losing so many guys from last year," Ashwill said. "Coming back this year and having a team with four or five freshmen that get a lot of playing time, we just don't have the experience."
Despite going winless in its first nine games, Scioto has been competitive. It allowed a season-high three goals in 3-0 losses to Whitehouse Anthony Wayne on Aug. 25, Pickerington North on Aug. 30, Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 6 and Westerville South on Sept. 11.
Finishing also has been a concern for the Celtics, who had scored eight goals in their first 10 games before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 25. Jerome was shut out in five of those 10 games.
"We just haven't been finding the back of the net to save our lives," Jerome coach Nate Maust said. "It's just mental. When you get in situations where you just can't score, can't score, can't score, it's kind of like there's an imaginary wall in front of that goal."
Scioto girls see winning streak end
The Scioto girls team had its five-game winning streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to Jerome on Sept. 18.
The Irish were 5-2-2 overall and 2-1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Darby on Sept. 25.
Sveta Gudenkova scored for Scioto against Jerome. Kaitlin Miller and Christy Chou scored for the Celtics.
"Our girls worked hard," Scioto coach Chris Adams said. "We expected Jerome to pass the ball well and have more control of the game, but we felt we would still be able to get some chances. We were able to get the early lead and I think that helped carry us to keep us energized in the first half.
"Jerome is such a quality program and it shows with their play and No. 2 state ranking (last week behind Rocky River Magnificat). Our girls felt pretty good after the game. They left it out on the field and that is all I can ask from them."
Jerome played without senior Lindsay Agnew, who is playing for Canada in the FIFA U17 World Cup in Azerbaijan.