With three college recruits in its lineup, the Dublin Coffman High School field hockey team entered the season with high hopes.
Coach Caren Leslie said the Shamrocks met their expectations in finishing 11-6 overall and placing third in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division at 5-2, behind Thomas Worthington (7-0) and Olentangy Liberty (5-1-1).
Upper Arlington (4-2-1) placed fourth in the league, followed by Jerome (3-4), Olentangy (2-5), Olentangy Orange (1-6) and Scioto (0-7).
The Shamrocks, who defeated Scioto 9-1 on Sept. 4 and beat Jerome 2-1 on Sept. 18, were seeded fifth in the district tournament and lost to sixth-seeded Watterson 2-1 in the first round Oct. 17.
"We started the season 9-0 and we were really excited since this program has no record of ever starting a season this well in its entire history," Leslie said. "Overall, this is the best season on record for Coffman field hockey and we all can be proud of that."
The Shamrocks lose eight senior starters in attackers Carly Anson, Kelly Murphy and Kaitlin Whitty, midfielders Maria Guerrero, Kate Meeks and Emma Vander Stoep and defenders Katie Lemieux and Marisa Martin.
Lemieux has committed to Ohio State. Anson (Bellarmine University) and Meeks (Davidson College) also will play at the next level. Anson was named first-team all-league and Lemieux and Meeks were second-team all-league.
Among the expected returnees are four players who started or saw significant playing time in junior goalkeeper Emily Goliver, junior midfielder Abbey Willette, sophomore midfielder Dana Pajk and freshman defender Shannon Aumiller.
"I am not going to lie. We lose nine very talented seniors," Leslie said. "We will miss them tremendously, but they have set this team up for success. If we can take what we have learned from them and continue to build on it, we should be a solid team next season. We must not dwell on the fact that we are losing these nine seniors but instead honor them by getting busy in the offseason to prepare for 2014. We definitely have something to prove to ourselves next season."
Celtics coach happy with improvement
Jerome finished 12-6 overall this fall, posting seven more wins than it had last season.
The Celtics finished fifth in the COFHL-West and, as the seventh seed, beat 14th-seeded Columbus School for Girls 2-1 in the first round of the district tournament Oct. 14 before losing to fourth-seeded Liberty 1-0 in a district semifinal Oct. 22.
"This team's entire season was awesome," coach Colleen Bender said. "The senior leadership was amazing. This group of girls played so well together the entire season. We had some heartbreaking losses ... (but) the tenacity of this team and how hard they worked, going from 5-9-2 last season to 12-6, says a lot about this group of girls. I am so proud of them."
The Celtics lose 10 senior starters in attackers Kylie Huesman, Rachel Keating and Alex Petersen, midfielders Ashlynn Burns, Katie Kendall, Cami Kowalski and Christina McGregor, defenders Tara Blake and Emma Frazier and goalie Prathibha Srikantan.
Blake, Burns, Frazier, Huesman and Kendall were three-year starters.
Kendall, who had eight goals and five assists, was first-team all-league and Frazier and McGregor were second-team all-league.
Petersen had 10 goals and one assist, Huesman had six goals and one assist and Srikantan had eight shutouts.
The lone starter expected to return is sophomore defender McKenna Russell.
Also expected back are juniors Danielle Baiocchi (midfielder) and Madison Redd (forward), sophomores Kailee King (midfielder), Claire Koontz (defender) and Claire Prenger (goalie) and freshmen Grace Cochran (forward).
Cochran had four goals and four assists and King and Redd each scored one goal.
"(We were) led by 14 determined seniors who are going to be very hard to replace," Bender said. "But I think that the girls still involved in the program will continue to work just as hard and demand others work just as hard as the seniors did of them. When you are part of a successful season, you take a look at how (you) got there and how can (you) continue to see those same results."
Wins eluded Irish throughout season
Scioto struggled through the season, finishing 0-15 overall and finishing last in the eight-team COFHL-West.
Seeded 17th in the district tournament, the Irish lost to top-seeded and eventual state runner-up Thomas 12-1 in the first round Oct. 15.
"We had some bright moments this season, but overall it was not the season that I nor the team was hoping for," coach Jason Perlman said. "This was an experienced team with a lot of seniors, but it seemed there was a snowball effect of bad luck and bounces that started at the beginning of the season and just got bigger as the season went on. We have some very dedicated and hard-working players who deserve to have a successful season in terms of wins and losses, and I hope they get to experience that."
The Irish lose six senior starters in midfielders Minna Akutsu, Brooklyn Robertson and Danielle Skillman, forward Angela Lontoc and defenders Maddie Baron and Amel Khalife. Robertson was second-team all-league.
Expected to return are nine players who started or saw significant playing time in juniors Shivangi Bhardwaj (defender), Cadee Gooden (defender), Brenna Hubschmann (midfielder), Emily King (attacker), Nikki McFadden (midfielder) and Sarah Mitchell (goalie), sophomore Kayleigh Bowman (attacker) and freshmen Julia Kovach (defender) and McKenzie Lomax (attacker).
"We had a strong freshman class, so I think those players, mixed with the returning upperclassman players, will be a great mix of talent, athleticism, dedication and love of the sport," Perlman said.