A rainy day spent indoors might have been the turning point of the preseason for the Ready High School girls soccer team.

A rainy day spent indoors might have been the turning point of the preseason for the Ready High School girls soccer team.

First-year coach Elise Berry hopes to change the landscape mentally as well as in the wins and losses columns of a program that averaged about four wins the last six years.

One way she tried to do so was with a DVD about Pele that she showed to the team's 18 players.

"I think the focus in soccer has gotten away from having fun," said Berry, a 1998 DeSales graduate who helped the Stallions win Division II state championships in her sophomore and senior years and make it to a state semifinal in her junior year. "We just did a lot of goal-setting. You do what you see and what you believe in. On the back of our practice shirt we just put the word 'Believe.'"

Ready went 25-55-10 the last six seasons under former coach Joe Waldo. He stepped down in the offseason because of the time constraints of a new job.

The Silver Knights went 3-10-2 overall and 0-5 in the CCL last year and scored nine goals total. They lost to Wellington 3-0 in the second round of the Division II district tournament.

Berry, who played four seasons at Purdue and then competed in a professional league, is coaching a prep team for the first time. She heads the soccer academy at MaxSports Center as well.

The only graduation loss was fullback Colleen McDaniel.

With the return of senior sweeper Amanda Barch, senior goalkeeper Abbey Williamson, senior stopper Alli Marion and senior defender Emily Helber, the Silver Knights should be strong in the back.

Junior Heather Manning, who played as a freshman but not last season, has returned to the program and will be at forward. She was the second-leading scorer with five goals as a freshman and ran on the 400-meter relay that made it to the Division III state track meet last spring.

Manning should be joined at forward by junior Jessie Eramo and freshman Lauren Graessle. Junior Merissa DePalma is back to lead the midfield.

"I'm very pleased with the girls, and they've been working hard," Berry said. "I have four solid seniors, and they've been really helpful in the transition. I think this is going to be a completely different squad than last year."

The girls tennis team also is hoping for more success after going 0-7 overall and 0-5 in the CCL a year ago.

Making that more difficult could be the health of senior Anh-Thu Thai, who has started at singles since her freshman year. After winning five matches last year, including two at the Division II sectional at Gahanna, Thai has been battling a back problem that has left her out indefinitely.

In a 5-0 opening loss to Grove City on Aug. 12, senior Megan Maxwell played first singles, junior Anne Bowles was at No. 2 singles and her sister, senior Emma Bowles, was at third singles. Sophomore Pia Aguilar also is a candidate to play singles.

Competing at doubles are senior Kayla Serrana and junior Erin Flavin at No. 1 and junior Breanna Hayes and sophomore Emily Mittelkamp are at No. 2. Senior Alyssa Caldwell also is a returning doubles player.

Ready has 17 players overall.

"Our first goal is always to have fun," second-year coach Jen Donaldson said. "We just want to improve each week. I'm not expecting them to win the CCL, but I expect them to improve by the end of the season. With so many players out, we can really build the program up now."

Ready's Nicole Brown runs alongside Highland's Jordan Brant last Wednesday during the New Albany Classic cross country meet.

At a glance

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

CROSS COUNTRY

Last Wednesday -- Competed At New Albany

Last Saturday -- Competed At Newark Catholic

Wednesday -- At Canal Winchester Invitational

FOOTBALL

Last Friday -- Played Franklin Heights

Friday -- Home vs. St. Paris Graham at Franklin Heights. Last year, the Silver Knights beat the Falcons 42-0.

GOLF

Aug. 13 -- Finished fourth (345) in six-team CCL preseason tournament at Split Rock behind champion Watterson (292)

Last Monday -- Lost to London 174-177

Last Tuesday -- Def.Westland 359-378

*Last Thursday -- Played Watterson

*Tuesday -- At Hartley

Wednesday -- Home vs. London

*Thursday -- Home vs. Worthington Christian

BOYS SOCCER

Last Monday -- Lost to Westland 8-1 in opener

Last Saturday -- Played Johnstown

*Tuesday -- Home vs. DeSales. Last season, Ready lost to the Stallions 5-1.

Thursday -- Home vs. Liberty Christian

Saturday -- At Fisher Catholic

Of note: The Silver Knights were 0-1 before last Saturday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Last Monday -- Def. Westland 5-2 in opener

Last Saturday -- Played Columbus Academy

Tuesday -- Home vs. Fisher Catholic. Ready lost to the Irish 5-0 last year.

Of note: The Silver Knights were 1-0 before last Saturday.

GIRLS TENNIS

Aug. 12 -- Lost to Grove City 5-0

Last Tuesday -- Lost to Grandview 4-1

Last Wednesday -- Def. Franklin Heights 4-1

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Hartley. Ready lost to the Hawks 4-1 last year.

Wednesday -- At Fisher Catholic

Of note: The Silver Knights are 1-2.

VOLLEYBALL

Last Saturday -- Played at Mount Vernon in opener

Tuesday -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley

*CCL contest