Coming off a season in which it won its first outright league title and the first Division I district title in program history, a Gahanna Lincoln High School girls soccer team with three Division I college recruits had hopes of another season of championships.
Although the quest for winning another district title remains, little else has gone according to plan this season for the Lions.
Senior Kari Weinland, a center midfielder who verbally committed to Louisville after making the ThisWeek Super 12 a year ago, is among a group of players out with injuries.
Senior center forward Maddie Marquez is out for the season after being injured in mid-September and senior forward Taylor Kulow also has been out of the lineup.
Without that trio, the Lions were just 4-8-1 overall before playing Pickerington Central on Oct. 9 and received the 16th seed for the district tournament.
What might be most alarming for Gahanna is that it hasn't found answers while being short-handed, particularly on offense.
After beating Reynoldsburg 6-0 on Sept. 11, the Lions were shut out in six of their next seven games.
"We're having a hard time generating any offense right now," coach Jason Hardin said. "Maddie's injury occurred in practice and the other two went down on aggressive plays. I think there are a lot of girls who are starting to mature who we've had to put in there."
Gahanna's other victories before playing Pickerington Central came against Groveport (10-1 on Aug. 28), Newark (11-1 on Sept. 4) and Lancaster (11-0 on Sept. 18).
Through 13 games, Maggie Mayo had 10 goals and two assists, Weinland had six goals and seven assists and freshman Remi Eades had four goals and five assists. Senior outside back Kathleen Carley is a player Hardin has been relying on for leadership.
Junior Sara Richards has seen time at forward and on defense as Hardin attempts to best utilize her speed. Sophomore Kari Brown is another player who Hardin believes shows promise.
Gahanna lost to New Albany 1-0 on Oct. 6 and will play the Eagles again in the second round of the tournament Oct. 18 on the road. New Albany is the 11th seed.
"We've been trying to use different personnel, but we've just got a lot of youth and inexperience in there," Hardin said.