Soccer's reputation of low-scoring games is lost on the Columbus Academy girls soccer team. Entering today's game at Granville, the Vikings are averaging 5.1 goals a game.

Soccer's reputation of low-scoring games is lost on the Columbus Academy girls soccer team. Entering today's game at Granville, the Vikings are averaging 5.1 goals a game.

As a result, Academy is 8-1 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio.

"We're scoring a lot of goals," first-year coach Kelly Snead said, laughing. "We do have finishing abilities and based on last year and the girls returning, we expected this."

In five of Academy's nine games, the Vikings have scored more than six goals and Erin Simmons is a big reason why. She has 14 goals, including three last Saturday in a 4-1 win over Jonathan Alder.

"She's got great touch and great vision of the game," Snead said. "She knows when to check the ball and when to make runs. She's a smart player up top, who doesn't always do the same move every single time. She's creative."

Simmons has offensive opportunities thanks to Academy's top midfielders in Logan Berlet and Alicia Ho, who had combined for 11 assists.

"The girls are making the right turns and getting good passes to our scorers," Snead said. "Then our scorers are there to finish things off."

Academy currently is second in the conference behind Bexley, which beat Academy 3-0 on Sept. 14. It was the most goals the Vikings allowed in a game this season. Defense was an area Snead focused on in the preseason. She has implemented a new philosophy — a flat back four.

"They've always played with a sweeper on the defensive line," Snead said. "We're still having difficulty communicating in the new system, but we're working to get the kinks out."

Snead is not concerned with Academy's offense. Instead, the emphasis will be on defense, as the Vikings have six games remaining before the postseason begins in mid-October.

"We want to see more shutouts," said Snead, whose team had four shutouts through nine games. "We need to stay compact on defense especially with the district tournament coming up. Then, we just have to let the offense roll along and do what they're good at."

•The football team had its way with Lakewood last Friday, winning 61-28. Now, the second half begins. Five games remain for the Vikings, who need wins to earn a spot in the Division V, Region 20 playoffs.

Earning those wins the next two weeks will be a difficult task as Academy plays at Newark Catholic on Saturday, followed by a home game against Heath on Oct. 8. Combined, Newark Catholic and Heath are 8-2.

"We've done some good things, but we need to improve in some areas," coach Mark Barren said. "We've had a series of injuries and illnesses and it has been hard for us to get a rhythm. Different kids are in and out of the lineup. It hasn't helped our cause."

A year ago, Academy beat Newark Catholic 27-19 but lost to Heath 47-27. Last Saturday, Heath dominated Newark Catholic 40-7 as Zack Wolfe scored three touchdowns. He had 89 yards receiving on five catches and 71 yards rushing. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs defense limited the Green Wave's leading rusher, Britt Wilder, to 97 yards.

Academy's ground game has continued to be paced by Preston Pearson and Austin Peterman. Combined, the duo has more than 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns, and quarterback Josh Hill is 33-for-61 passing for 563 yards.

"We lost in the first week of conference play to Granville (28-13 on Sept. 24), but it's not the end of the world," Barren said. "We've got another five weeks and as long as we can stay healthy, we'll be in every game. We just don't have much room for error."

At a glance

Below are recent results and coming schedules for the Columbus Academy boys golf, boys soccer, cross country, field hockey, football, girls golf, girls soccer, girls tennis and volleyball teams:

BOYS GOLF

Sept. 21 — Finished tied for third (339) with Heath at eight-team MSL-Ohio tournament, behind Granville (318) and Newark Catholic (336)

Last Saturday — Finished 13th (343) at 15-team Rodney Butt Classic at Granville Golf Course, behind champion Mount Vernon (311)

Last Monday — Competed against Gahanna

Last Tuesday — Competed at Division III sectional at Clover Valley. The top two teams and top two individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the district tournament on Monday at River Greens

Saturday — Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley

BOYS SOCCER

*Sept. 23 — Defeated Whitehall 6-1

Last Saturday — Lost to Worthington Christian 3-0

*Last Tuesday — Played Licking Valley

*Today — Home vs. Granville

Tuesday — At Jonathan Alder

Of note: The Vikings were 4-3-2 overall and 1-0 in the MSL-Ohio before last Tuesday.

CROSS COUNTRY

Last Saturday — Boys: Finished sixth (183) at 16-team Bengal Division of the Tiger Invitational at Pickerington Central,behind champion Olentangy Orange (40). Jon Michael Hilsheimer finished first (17:04.31); Girls: Finished 13th (291) at 13-team Tiger Invitational behind champion Heath (54)

Saturday — Erin L. Nance Classic at London Country Club

FIELD HOCKEY

Sept. 20 — Def. Worthington Kilbourne 9-0

Sept. 22 — Def. Bexley 4-2

Last Wednesday — Played Upper Arlington

Saturday — Home vs. Cincinnati Ursuline Academy and Granville

Tuesday — Home vs. Thomas Worthington

Of note: The Vikings were 7-0 before last Wednesday.

FOOTBALL

*Last Friday — Def. Lakewood 61-28

*Saturday — At Newark Catholic

Of note: The Vikings are 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the MSL-Ohio.

GIRLS GOLF

Last Wednesday — Morgan Ransom competed at Division II sectional tournament at Mill Creek. The top four individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the district tournament on Tuesday at Bent Tree.

GIRLS SOCCER

Sept. 21 — Def. Wellington 3-0

*Sept. 23 — Def. Heath 11-0

Last Saturday — Def. Jonathan Alder 4-1

*Today — At Granville

Tuesday — At Worthington Christian

Of note: The Vikings are 8-1 overall and 3-1 in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio.

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 20 — Def. Bexley 4-1

Sept. 21 — Lost to New Albany 3-2

Sept. 22 — Match at Columbus School for Girls postponed because of bad weather. No makeup date has been announced.

*Sept. 23 — Def. Fisher Catholic 5-0

Last Saturday — Lost to Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit 4-1

*Last Tuesday — Played Whitehall

Today — Home vs. Watterson

Saturday — MSL-Ohio tournament at home

Of note: the Vikings were 7-9 overall and 4-0 in the MSL-Cardinal/Ohio before last Tuesday.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Sept. 20 — Lost to Worthington Christian 25-7, 25-14, 25-9

*Sept. 21 — Lost to Lakewood 25-10, 25-4, 25-12

*Sept. 23 — Lost to Bexley 25-15, 25-5, 25-22

*Last Saturday — Lost to Licking Valley 25-4, 25-5, 25-4

*Last Tuesday — Played Newark Catholic

*Today — At Heath

Saturday — At Gahanna Christian with Granville Christian

*Tuesday — Home vs. Whitehall

Of note: The Vikings were 0-9 overall and 0-8 in the MSL-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*MSL-Ohio or MSL-Cardinal/Ohio contest