Frustrated with watching her team get outscored 20-7 during a four-game losing streak earlier this month, Pickerington High School Central girls soccer coach Angie Pinion took to her drawing board.

Frustrated with watching her team get outscored 20-7 during a four-game losing streak earlier this month, Pickerington High School Central girls soccer coach Angie Pinion took to her drawing board.

Some brainstorming and sketching later, Pinion decided to play with three forwards instead of two.

"We had to create some more offensive momentum," said Tigers co-captain Mallory Wyrick, a defender.

The Tigers have.

Central reversed its skid, which was capped by a 9-3 loss to Gahanna on Sept. 13, with victories of 5-1 over Chillicothe on Sept. 17 and 2-0 over Groveport on Sept. 20. Those wins and a 5-3 loss to New Albany on Sept. 22 put the Tigers at 4-5-1. Their problems aren't completely fixed, but the team thinks it's closer to recapturing the form that carried it to a Division I district semifinal in 2010.

"Our game against Groveport was the first game in a while where our possession was amazing. Our passing and our touches and our ability to work together as a unit on the field were spot-on," Pinion said. "The only thing that needed to improve was our finishing. We should have been able to put a couple more in the back of the net; we missed a few wide-open goals. But if we continue to play possession and just improve on our shooting, we have (six) games left and we definitely should have a good stretch."

The Tigers' hopes for an OCC-Ohio Division championship virtually were dashed with a 5-1 loss to Pickerington North on Sept. 6 and the loss to Gahanna. But entering this week, Central remained in line for its third consecutive third-place finish with league games remaining at Newark (Sept. 27), at home against Grove City (Tuesday, Oct. 4) and at Reynoldsburg (Oct. 11).

Compounding the league losses was that they were interspersed with two others, 4-2 to Westerville North on Sept. 1 and 2-1 to Olentangy on Sept. 8.

"Losing four games in a row is pretty tough. It brought us down," said forward and co-captain Megan Marinello, one of Central's 12 seniors. "There was definitely some negativity, so we had to have a talk and remind ourselves to keep our heads up. This is our senior year. We need to make the best of it."

Through 10 games, senior midfielder Bailey Domer had a team-high seven goals, senior forward Torrie Marshall had six and Marinello had four. Six Tigers - Domer, Marshall, Lizzie Awuah, Megan Marinello, McKenzie Marinello and Darby Burch - had scored in the three games before Sept. 27.

"We have a lot of talented forwards. Having three up there gives us more talent and skills to work with," Marshall said. "And we have an awesome midfield and awesome defense that help back us up. We're getting more opportunities."

Marshall was referring to in-game situations, but the Tigers know they still have time to create plenty of positive experiences. They started the 2010 season 2-6 but rebounded to finish 9-7-1, losing 2-1 to Dublin Scioto in a Division I district semifinal.

"Unfortunately early on we found out the two (goals) we didnot meet were beating North and winning the league," Pinion said. "But we still have our other goals, like making it farther in the tournament than we did last year. We want to improve on our goals-against average, and just growing together as a team. That's something we always want to see."