The Hilliard Davidson High School girls soccer team must replace 2012 graduate Courtney Hall, who had a program-record 18 goals and six assists last year and was named first-team all-state, all-district and all-league.

The Hilliard Davidson High School girls soccer team must replace 2012 graduate Courtney Hall, who had a program-record 18 goals and six assists last year and was named first-team all-state, all-district and all-league.

Despite losing his most prolific scorer, 11th-year coach Joe Divida said his team shouldn't miss a beat offensively this season.

The Wildcats, who finished 11-4-3 overall and 5-0-2 in the OCC-Central Division last year, opened Aug. 20 with a 3-2 win over Westerville Central and begin league play Tuesday, Aug. 28, at home against Dublin Coffman.

"We're a very good attacking team and we were able to put the ball in the back of the net well in the preseason," Divida said. "Courtney had a great senior season, but a lot of what she was able to do was based on what her teammates were doing around her. We still have a lot of individuals who are extremely strong at attacking and have the ability to finish their chances."

Davidson returns eight starters in seniors Lauren Bates (center midfielder) and Gaby Escamilla (center midfielder), juniors Ashley Blake (forward), Lea Edler (forward), Alaina Lundregan (center midfielder), Chelsea Miller (defender) and Jamie Shick (defender) and sophomore Erin Duffy (defender).

Last season, Blake was first-team all-league, Bates was second-team and Edler was special mention.

Bates, Blake, Edler and Shick are team captains.

Junior Rachel Teater and sophomore Bri Miller are vying to replace Susan Anderson as the starting goalkeeper, and junior Emily Galloway will help replace Hall as a forward.

"I feel like we're deeper and more capable of handling injuries than we were in the past," Divida said.

Last season, Davidson placed second in the OCC-Central, behind Coffman (6-0-1) and ahead of Thomas Worthington (4-1-2), Upper Arlington (3-2-2), Hilliard Darby (2-3-2), Worthington Kilbourne (2-4-1), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).

The Wildcats tied Thomas at 1 and played Coffman to a scoreless tie.

Davidson earned community bragging rights last year, defeating Darby 5-1 and beating Hilliard Bradley 2-0.

As part of OCC realignment, Darby and Kilbourne moved to the OCC-Cardinal and were replaced in the OCC-Central by Marysville and Olentangy Liberty, both of which had been in the OCC-Cardinal.

Seeded fifth, Davidson opened the Division I district tournament last season with an 11-0 win over Teays Valley before losing to 10th-seeded Westerville North 1-0 in a district semifinal.

"We always talk about winning our league and as many (postseason) tournament championships as we can, and the girls seem to be more comfortable with those expectations this year," Divida said. "It all starts with trying to win our league. Dublin Coffman is probably still the team to beat in the OCC-Central, but it looks like Marysville has a good team, too."

Jaguars optimistic despite numbers

Bradley, which finished 13-4-2 overall and captured its first league championship last season, opened Aug. 18 with a 1-all tie against New Albany and begins OCC-Cardinal play Tuesday, Aug. 28, at home against Dublin Jerome.

The Jaguars went 6-0-1 in the OCC-Capital last year to finish ahead of New Albany (4-1-1), Olentangy Orange (4-2), Watkins Memorial (4-2), Big Walnut (2-4), Delaware (1-5) and Mount Vernon (0-6).

As part of OCC realignment, Bradley moved to the OCC-Cardinal and Olentangy moved to the OCC-Capital.

The Jaguars return five starters in seniors Lauren Bailey (forward) and Amanda Fodor (defender), juniors Jenna Fodor (center midfielder) and Shelby Halworth (goalie) and sophomore Adriana Johnson (center midfielder).

Last season, Amanda Fodor was first-team all-league and second-team all-district and Bailey was second-team all-league. Halworth was special mention all-league and Jenna Fodor was honorable mention all-league.

Halworth, however, likely will miss the season as she recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Others who are expected to make an impact are senior Taylor Gray (forward), juniors Taylor Baith (defender), Katie Fleischman (midfielder), Faith Payton (defender), Jeffrin Wisel (defender) and Emily Wright (defender), sophomores Alex Day (forward), Libby Rains (goalie) and Becca Schalip (midfielder) and freshmen Kennedy Elliott (defender), Grace Fodor (midfielder) and Macie Kill (forward).

"We have only 30 girls in the program, so we're going to work as one team instead of dividing into varsity and (junior varsity) teams, and whoever plays well each week will play varsity," fourth-year coach Dan Hoover said. "We don't have a lot of experience, but I'm excited about how athletic we are."

Last season, after getting out to a 1-1-2 start, Bradley reeled off 10 consecutive wins, including victories over Big Walnut (3-0), Westerville Central (1-0), Orange (2-0), Westerville North (1-0) and Watkins Memorial (2-1).

Seeded seventh, the Jaguars opened the district tournament with a 7-1 win over Newark and defeated Westerville Central 1-0 in a district semifinal before losing to second-seeded Coffman 2-0 in a district final.

Joining Bradley and Darby in the OCC-Cardinal are Dublin Scioto, Jerome, Kilbourne, Westerville Central, Westerville North and Westerville South.

"We had a good record and won our first OCC championship last year, but our schedule is going to be tougher this year and we're looking forward to being challenged by our new division of the OCC," Hoover said.

Panthers shooting for another winning year

Darby, which finished 8-7-3 overall last season, opens Thursday, Aug. 23 at Hartley and begins OCC-Cardinal play Tuesday, Aug. 28, at home against Westerville North.

The Panthers return nine players who started multiple games last year in seniors Emily Church (forward), Rebecca Heicher (midfielder), Anne Mazuca (defender), Ashleigh Riddle (defender) and Tess Walters (defender), juniors Helen Erb (forward) and Abbye Spangler (defender) and sophomores Madison Dixon (midfielder) and Caitlin McCarthy (forward).

Riddle, who has committed to Kentucky, was first-team all-OCC-Central and Church was honorable mention all-league last season.

Senior goalie Rachel Harricharran, who started as a freshman but didn't play the past two seasons, has returned and will start. Freshmen Carlee Murry (midfielder) and Ellie Weber (defender) also will start.

Rounding out the team are senior Sydney Schmidt (forward), juniors Claire Craddick (forward), Maggie Kuhns (forward), Amber Lilly (defender), Brianna Roys (midfielder) and Kristin Trempert (goalie) and freshmen Riley Demjan (midfielder) and Maddi Wallace (midfielder).

"We're a younger team, but we have a lot of experienced players," second-year coach Sarah Wiechman said. "Our chemistry is so much better and you can tell by the way we play together."

Last season, Darby defeated Kilbourne 1-0 in the first round of the Division I district tournament before losing to 12th-seeded Orange 2-0 in the second round.

"Obviously, the OCC-Cardinal is a much tougher conference than the one we were in last year," Wiechman said.

"But I always like to play a tough schedule because it prepares you for tournament time."