Lack of depth issue for Brookhaven boys soccer
The Brookhaven High School boys soccer team began last season with 14 players but overcame the lack of depth to win a third City League championship in four seasons.
The Bearcats had only 12 players throughout much of this preseason, but coach Paul Hackworth hopes that number expands by the time they play their opener Tuesday, Aug. 28, against visiting Briggs.
Brookhaven went 14-3 overall a year ago.
"Our numbers are down significantly from years past at Brookhaven, and with me not being in the building last year, I'm still working on (my roster)," said Hackworth, who is in his sixth season leading the program. "I don't have some of the depth I've had in the past, but I do have some guys returning."
Five of Brookhaven's players attend Columbus Global Academy, including junior Mark Garin.
Garin, seniors Emmanuel Achirem and JoJo Young and sophomore Josiah Ingram are returnees who will play defense.
Sophomore midfielder Daniel Adu saw action late last season and, according to Hackworth, played his best game when Brookhaven beat Centennial 3-1 for the City championship at Crew Stadium.
Also looking to contribute are juniors Eduardo Aguirre (forward) and Kofi Viassy (midfielder), sophomore Emmanuel Osafo (midfielder) and freshmen Marcos Funes (forward), Lotfi Ezzrhari (forward) and Maxwell Kyeremateng (midfielder).
Last season, Brookhaven went 10-1 in the City, with Centennial (9-1-1), Beechcroft (8-3), Walnut Ridge (8-3) and Northland (6-3-2) rounding out the top five.
The Bearcats were seeded third for the Division II district tournament but lost to eighth-seeded Bexley 7-0 in their opener.
Junior Jalim Bayo, who would have been one of the Bearcats' top players, is playing club soccer this fall.
"The things we need to work on are trying to build chemistry and getting them to understand their positions," Hackworth said.
"All of these guys know how to dribble. I think we'll be competitive."
Beechcroft boys squad has strong duo back
The Beechcroft boys soccer team is looking to step up in the City League with the return of senior Kangni Gabianou (midfielder) and junior Babacar Ba (midfielder), both of whom made first-team all-league last season.
"Our numbers are really low," third-year coach Matt Glorioso said. "I think we can beat anybody, but we don't have the defense that we had last year. We lost two really good defenders, and one of them (2012 graduate Alpha Berry) is on scholarship to Urbana (University). We don't have the numbers, but I don't know if anybody (in the City League) does."
Other key players include Alimamy Sesay (defender), junior Bryan Quijada (midfielder) and sophomore Ibrahim Sesay (defender). New to the program are juniors Amos Agyemon and Alpha Diallo, who are transfers, and freshman Peter Darko.
Last season, Beechcroft opened the Division II district tournament with a 5-1 win over Mifflin but lost to Hartley 6-1 in the second round to finish 8-5-1 overall.
Northland girls coach excited for new group
Northland girls soccer coach Tori Moore kept her players busy the past few months with conditioning in preparation for the season.
The Vikings have about 20 players, but Moore estimates that "about 75 percent" of them are new to the program.
"I had a spring training schedule for them and we've been out there getting our conditioning in," said Moore, who is in her third season leading the program. "We have numbers this year and athletes this year. We just have to teach them footwork."
Northland, which opened Aug. 21 at Big Walnut, begins City League play Thursday, Aug. 23, at Beechcroft. Last season, the Vikings beat Beechcroft 6-3, and the teams also played to a scoreless tie as Northland went 3-7-1 overall.
The Vikings return juniors Miriam Avila (goalkeeper), Veronica Garcia (midfielder), Angela Jackson (defender) and Madelyn Smith (forward) and sophomore Sarah Spillman (midfielder).
Others looking to contribute are sophomores Clorissa Mendez-Lance (forward) and Priya Sharma (forward). Freshman Lucy Indive will be the stopper and freshman Taylor Williams will play sweeper.
Last season, Northland lost to Dublin Coffman 11-0 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
Beechcroft girls soccer team has veteran look
The Beechcroft girls soccer team is led by seniors Hailee Cannady and Maribell Hernandez.
Also on the team are juniors Josephine Afare, Dalelynn Featherstone, Stephanie Ibarra, Briana Lawson, Hilda Macauley, Chisom Nwokem, Vonia Opoku, Odyssey Riley and Mary Stewart and sophomores Afia Boachi and Taylor Harris.
The Cougars went 1-10-1 last season, beating Columbus East 3-2 for their only win.
Beechcroft lost to Bexley 12-0 in the first round of the Division II district tournament.
The Cougars opened Aug. 21 against visiting Madison Christian and play their City opener Thursday, Aug. 23, at home against Northland.
"We had open fields every day this season, so they all had an opportunity to get touches," second-year coach Dan Zedeker said. "They're doing OK."