The Westland High School girls soccer team has struggled this season, but coach Pat Ellis said it isn't for a lack of effort.
The Cougars were 0-9 overall before playing Tree of Life on Sept. 28 and are 0-5 in the OCC-Central Division. Since losing their opener to Groveport 4-2 on Aug. 20, they have been outscored 79-0.
"They have fought all season," Ellis said. "They don't quit. They keep plugging away."
Sophomore Camyrn Moreno scored both goals against Groveport. She began the season as a forward and midfielder, but has been moved to center defender to help stabilize that unit.
"I feel like we are really positive toward each other even in games that we're losing really bad," Moreno said. "We still try to be positive and not get down on each other, because if we do, we're just going to give up."
Freshman goalkeeper Shayan Brown had 66 saves through nine games, including a season-high 11 in a 10-0 loss to Grove City on Aug. 22.
"She has been working on things that she has to do to handle that position," Ellis said. "Being a freshman and playing some of the teams that we play is difficult anyway, but then to have that age difference in there, that's even more."
Westland's opponents in the OCC-Central include four teams ranked in the district last week in Dublin Coffman (first), Hilliard Davidson (third), Olentangy Liberty (fourth) and Marysville (ninth).
Coffman, which beat the Cougars 10-0 on Sept. 24, was third in the Division I state poll last week behind Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit and Twinsburg.
"The teams that we get to play are top in the district," Ellis said. "Coffman is ranked in the state. They have numbers and they have very talented athletes there."
Boys soccer team making progress
The boys soccer team isn't where coach Dan Heckler wants it to be, but it's heading in the right direction.
Westland was 5-7 overall before playing Groveport on Sept. 28 and is 0-5 in the OCC-Central.
"We've patched up a lot of defensive holes and we're still making others," Heckler said. "The team is still making progress and I like that. We still have a ways to go to keep getting ourselves better. Everyone is committed to that idea."
Heckler said the Cougars played well in a 3-0 loss to visiting Coffman on Sept. 24 in a league game. Goalie Jonathan Olvera had 10 saves against the Shamrocks and had 97 through 12 games.
"It was a competitive game," Heckler said. "We missed our chances and they got theirs, so I guess that was the biggest difference in the game."
Westland defeated visiting Tree of Life 7-6 on Sept. 20, getting two goals from midfielder Tariq Hadi.
Through 12 games, forward Juan Rios had a team-high eight goals and midfielder Bachir Bah had seven.
Bah scored both goals in a 7-2 loss to defending Division I state champion Liberty on Sept. 17. The Patriots were ranked first in the district and fifth in the state last week.
Football team to play state-ranked Wildcats
The football team will play host to Davidson on Friday, Oct. 4, as part of homecoming weekend.
Westland was 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the OCC-Central before facing Thomas Worthington on Sept. 27. Davidson, which was first in the ThisWeek Super 7 poll and seventh in the Division I state poll last week, was 4-0 and 1-0 before playing Central Crossing on Sept. 27.
"They're pretty solid and they do what they do," coach Steve White said of Davidson. "They've had a good run over there for a while and they really haven't made drastic changes. They do what they do pretty well."
Westland lost to host Marysville 64-6 on Sept. 21 in its league opener. The game was scheduled for Sept. 20, but was postponed because of bad weather.
The Monarchs, who were 4-0 and 1-0 before playing Coffman on Sept. 27, amassed 430 total yards against the Cougars, who had 204.
Quarterback D'Kahri Scott completed 15 of 24 passes for 107 yards against Marysville. Through four games, he was 42-for-80 passing for 473 yards with a touchdown and five interceptions and had rushed for 256 yards and three touchdowns on 64 carries.
Also through four games, running back Nick Green had 130 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries, wide receiver Reggie Gilliam had 15 catches for 256 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Dominick Thomas had 14 receptions for 130 yards.
Girls volleyball coach seeing improvement
Girls volleyball coach Eric Hughes continues to see improvement by his players.
Westland lost to Thomas Worthington 20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-15, 15-9 in an OCC-Central match Sept. 24 and was 7-10 overall and 3-6 in the league before playing Davidson on Sept. 26.
The Cougars had lost to the Cardinals 25-23, 25-11, 22-25, 25-22 in the first round of league play Aug. 29.
"I have seen major improvement from a few key players," Hughes said. "After we lost to Thomas in four games earlier in the season, losing in five shows our improvement. We have the talent and drive. Now we just need to figure out how to put everything together to get a few more tallies in the win column."
Farmer, Mayhew lead runners at Whetstone
Led by Seth Farmer, the boys cross country team finished fourth (172) in the 17-team Arrowhead Invitational on Sept. 18 at Whetstone behind champion Bexley (70).
Farmer placed fourth of 204 runners in 16 minutes, 51 seconds. Also scoring for the Cougars were Bryce Long (26th, 18:47), Siyat Mohamed (29th, 18:53) and Erick Martinez (49th, 19:42).
The girls team finished seventh (161) in the 16-team Arrowhead Invitational behind champion Bexley (42).
Donna Mayhew paced the Cougars, finishing 15th (21:20) of 197 runners. Heidi Paxson (30th, 22:02) was next, followed by Hannah Festog (31st, 22:16), Elizabeth Finley (38th, 22:39) and Kelly Draves (45th, 23:35).
"I was pleased with how our kids ran at the Arrowhead Invitational," coach Josh Barkeloo said. "... I thought my boys would've placed higher, but they had an off day across the board. My girls ran as a very strong pack."