The Central Crossing High School boys soccer team has faced a "brutal" league schedule that has been difficult on the younger players, according to coach Chas McCutcheon.

The Central Crossing High School boys soccer team has faced a "brutal" league schedule that has been difficult on the younger players, according to coach Chas McCutcheon.

The Comets were 3-8-1 overall after non-league victories over Franklin Heights (3-0 on Sept. 22) and Whitehall (5-2 on Sept. 19). Junior forward Rogelio Ortiz scored three goals against Whitehall.

"I was able to get the shots off because my teammates did a good job of getting the ball to me," said Ortiz, whose team played Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 27 in an OCC-Central Division game. "I was able to take their good passes and put them in goal."

Senior defender Mario Alvarado and junior defender Andrew Diemer also scored against Whitehall.

"We had lost seven in a row," McCutcheon said after the game. "We were still trying to find out where we are as a team. We're so young and sometimes they can be overwhelmed."

On Sept. 20, Central Crossing dropped to 0-4 in league play with a 5-0 loss to Upper Arlington, which was 8-0-2 overall and 3-0-1 in the OCC-Central before playing Westland on Sept. 27.

"It's not an easy road," McCutcheon said. "The (OCC-Central) has been brutal and we played Upper Arlington, who was undefeated. Then you have teams like (Hilliard) Davidson, Thomas (Worthington), Kilbourne and (Dublin) Coffman. For most of our kids, this is the first time they have been through this (league schedule)."

Against Franklin Heights, junior midfielder Evan Fogle, junior forward Mohamed Mohamed and sophomore midfielder A.B. Lopez scored.

"We are tired of losing," Alvarado said. "That's why these wins are important."

Alvarado said team chemistry is improving.

"We need to have more teamwork and we have been doing group activities in practice like trying to get 50 touches on the ball before shooting," he said. "That's the way you get better."

The Comets also have been working on talking to each other on the field.

"We need to have better communication out there on the field," Ortiz said. "We need to talk more out there."

"When we communicate out there, we know what the other player is going to do on the field," Alvarado said. "That helps us all around the field."

Central Crossing has only four seniors in Alvarado, defender Mack Bostard, defender Tim Campbell and defender Sean Fahy. McCutcheon said his team also has had to deal with injuries to junior forward Humberto Rios and sophomore outside-midfielder Liban Mohamed.

"We lost eight of our starters, so it's been kind of trial and error ... (and) a lot of bumps and bruises," McCutcheon said. "Humberto has tweaked his knee and Liban tore his ACL and (those injuries have not) helped us. Liban is missed in the outside midfield because he is a runner. He loves to run and helped us make the transition from defense to offense."

Young players can improve by gaining varsity experience, but McCutcheon also said it takes more.

"Being strong on the ball is important," McCutcheon said. "We need to get to the weight room and get bigger in the offseason."