As assistant coach Brent Harmanis huddled with the Marysville High School boys soccer team following a 2-0 loss to Upper Arlington on Sept. 24, coach Terry Smith stood in the background.
Smith wanted some time alone to reflect on the team's latest loss -- its fourth in five games before the Monarchs played Big Walnut to a scoreless tie Sept. 26.
Marysville is 5-7-1 overall and 1-4 in the OCC-Central Division entering a home contest against Central Crossing on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
"It's the process of combining pieces of the puzzle," Smith said. "I overheard my assistant say sometimes kids are not learning from game to game, so when you're not learning from game to game that's where the challenge comes. We're not playing whole games. That's why I'm frustrated."
Marysville had limited scoring chances against UA but remained close behind the continued strong play of senior goalkeeper Corey Mankins, who finished with 11 saves and "played well," Smith said.
UA's Max Beck scored with 27 minutes, 18 seconds remaining, and Jack Strahm scored for the Golden Bears with 21:10 left.
"We have to go back to the drawing board and try to regroup," Smith said. "It's just maintaining confidence. The team has done some good stuff this year that I'm really proud of and then there are times during games that we just seem to unravel, and when we unravel we're not able to gain it back together."
Football team to face Liberty
The football team was out to its best start since 2000 before playing Dublin Coffman on Sept. 27.
The Monarchs were 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Central.
In 2000, Marysville went 10-0 in the regular season and finished 13-1 after losing to Piqua 18-7 in a Division II state semifinal.
"There's a lot of excitement around Marysville right now," coach Morgan Cotter said of his team's start. "People are excited, but the goal right now is to keep practicing well so we can continue to play well. We have to keep our kids grounded a little bit."
Marysville will play host to Olentangy Liberty on Friday, Oct. 4.
The Patriots were 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the league before playing Upper Arlington on Sept. 27.
Last season, Marysville lost to Liberty 21-14.
The Monarchs defeated visiting Westland 64-6 on Sept. 28. The game was postponed Sept. 27 because of bad weather.
Running back Aron Mowery rushed for 117 yards on 10 carries, including touchdowns of 45, 3 and 2 yards.
Quarterback Matt Mulholland completed 11 of 22 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns and added a 22-yard touchdown run.
"The game gave us a chance to play some of our younger kids," Cotter said. "That's a real good thing. When you play a lot of people some of your starters can get a little time off, so maybe they're not as banged up going into the next week. Hopefully it helps us out that way."
Through four games, Mowery had rushed for 329 yards and six touchdowns on 68 carries and Mulholland had completed 65 of 116 passes for 779 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Liberty pulled away from Central Crossing for a 49-7 win Sept. 27. Running back Daryian Davies had three touchdown runs (29, 3 and 1 yard) and quarterback Matt Kessler added three touchdown passes (27, 20 and 4 yards).
Cotter said Liberty's offense presents a challenge.
"They're a balanced run (and) pass (team), but they are very multiple in what they do," he said.
"They like the screens, they like the deep ball, they like the short crossing route and then they have a nice power run game with (Davies). I really like what he does. He just pounds it up in there and finds a seam."
Cross country teams run in Pennsylvania
The boys cross country team finished seventh (282) in the Sharpsville (Pa.) Blue Devil Invitational on Sept. 21 behind champion Grove City (107) as 43 teams scored.
Alec Sandusky was 10th of 309 runners in 17 minutes, 16.6 seconds. Michael Coffey was 53rd (18:15.4) and Zach Magers was 54th (18:16.1)
"It was terribly muddy with a constant rainfall," coach Tom Borawski said. "The boys ran very well. We placed seventh and only 32 points sep-arated third place through seventh."
The girls team was 19th (531) in the Blue Devil Invitational, as Beth Miller was 75th (22:03) of 275 runners. North East (Pa.) won with 94 points as 35 teams scored.
"I am very happy for the girls team," Borawski said. "They have struggled most of the season, but things look like they are changing for the better. They've worked hard throughout it all."
Swimming program gets new coach
Craig Faircloth has been named swimming coach in place of Ann Rausch, who resigned last spring after 11 seasons.
Faircloth, 45, is the aquatics and sports coordinator at the Union County YMCA. He accepted the position in July, and the school board approved his appointment Sept. 19.
Girls volleyball team loses to Coffman
The girls volleyball team lost to visiting Coffman 25-16, 25-6 25-11 on Sept. 24. Defensive specialist Abby Butler had 11digs and middle blocker Monica Miller had five blocks.
The Monarchs were 8-10 overall and 3-5 in the OCC-Central after losing at Liberty 25-21, 25-18, 25-14 on Sept. 26.
"We had high hopes going in to the night that we would give Coffman a fight and we believed we could have ended up on top," coach Jennifer Burton said. "Unfortunately, our motivation and drive didn't transfer to the court except for in little spurts."