In the opening game of her freshman season, Alex Thorn scored four goals to lead the Reynoldsburg High School girls soccer team to a 9-0 victory over Johnstown. Now a junior, she scored twice in the second half of a 5-1 win over Columbus School for Girls on Aug. 23.

In the opening game of her freshman season, Alex Thorn scored four goals to lead the Reynoldsburg High School girls soccer team to a 9-0 victory over Johnstown. Now a junior, she scored twice in the second half of a 5-1 win over Columbus School for Girls on Aug. 23.

In between the only two multi-goal games of her prep career, Thorn believes she's witnessed a program that has taken a significant step forward.

The Raiders, who scored four goals in the second half against CSG after the game was tied at 1 at halftime, finished 2-12-1 in 2010 but improved to 6-11 a year ago. They were 2-1 before opening OCC-Ohio Division play Aug. 28 against Grove City.

"It felt great because it got our team motivated," Thorn said. "We were really loose at halftime (against CSG), which is good. We're really kind of a second-half team."

Coach Dana Ortman also sees an improved team, especially offensively.

In 2010, Thorn had a team-high eight goals, but the Raiders totaled just 23 goals in 15 games and were shut out seven times. Last season, they again were shut out seven times but found the back of the net at least five times in four of their six wins. They lost four games by one goal a year ago.

Although Reynoldsburg lost to Westerville South 5-0 in its opener Aug. 21, it hit the post three times during the second half, according to Ortman.

"(Thorn) was our leading scorer as a freshman when she had eight goals, and she's really improved over the summer," Ortman said. "She's really physical up top. Our problem last year was scoring goals. With Alex and some of the other players we have, we fully expect to step up offensively. Our ball movement has been great and we're trying to finish those looks better. We possessed the ball (against Westerville South) but we just couldn't get it in there. I think they get a little nervous and tense. It was nice to see them get it into the back of the net."

Senior midfielder Christa Zellefrow scored the Raiders' first goal of the season during the first half against CSG. Also scoring against the Unicorns were junior midfielder Katie Broehm and sophomore midfielder Emily Vogelgesang.

Sophomore midfielder C.J. Rock and sophomore forward Asmara Abraham are other key players on offense. Abraham had two assists against CSG.

"We just need to work on finishing," Ortman said. "We were young last year so it was tough. We'd hit a dry spell and couldn't find the net. But this year, seeing the girls mature over the summer, we're optimistic."