Westerville Central girls at gut-check juncture
First-year Westerville Central High School girls soccer coach Devon Cannon believes his team has more potential than it showed in its first four games.
Cannon, who was an assistant coach at Westerville South last season, is looking for improved offensive production.
"I'm not happy," said Cannon, whose team was 1-1-2 overall before playing Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 4. "There were some games and some goals that we probably left out there."
After defeating Groveport 6-0 in its opener Aug. 18, the Warhawks were limited to four goals in their next three games, including ties at 1 against Dublin Scioto on Aug. 28 and Olentangy on Aug. 30. The Warhawks lost to Hilliard Davidson 3-2 on Aug. 20.
Central resumes OCC-Cardinal Division play Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Hilliard Bradley.
"When you're clearly better than another team than a tie is a loss to me," Cannon said. "It's all about getting better day to day. I'm sure there are many aspects that we'll see once we look at the film, but as of now it's a gut check at this point."
Against Scioto, senior Morgan Johnson scored and senior goalkeeper Megan Gray made five saves.
Senior Kristen Post came off the bench to score against Olentangy with 18 minutes, 27 seconds left in the first half, but the Braves' Allison Lowery scored with 14:50 left in the half to tie the game.
Central had numerous chances to retake the lead in the second half, including a shot off a corner kick that rolled wide of the post as time expired.
"We're not happy so far," said Gray, who had 30 saves through four games. "We have to play together and play for each other. A tie is better than losing, but it's not winning. It's not what we're here to do. We need to play with heart."
South battling early season injuries
South was battling injuries and was 1-3 before playing Bradley on Sept. 4.
Junior forward Casey Kusan suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury to her right knee during a 4-0 loss to Kilbourne on Aug. 28.
"It's a big loss up top," coach Brandi Tanler said. "We were looking to get a bunch of goals from her this year, so that's going to hurt us a little bit. Hopefully she'll get recovered and then get back to us next year."
Junior goalie Cara Calland injured her right knee against Kilbourne and was expected to return to the lineup this week, according to Tanler.
Freshman Samantha Ricker has played in place of Calland in goal.
"She is a good keeper, she's just inexperienced as far as at the varsity level," Tanler said of Ricker. "She's holding her own, but we'll be excited to get Cara back."
Freshman Toni Lytus injured her left knee against Kilbourne and Tanler was hoping she also would return this week.
South entered the Bradley game on a three-game losing streak.
Senior midfielder Jenna Applegett and junior forward Mikaela Couch scored in a 5-2 loss to Grove City on Sept. 1.
"We were happy at the start, but unfortunately we got some injuries," Tanler said. "The season is still early, so we'll get there eventually. Our goal is just to be playing the best when it comes to tournament time. We'll get back in there and we'll be a team that's going to compete with everyone in the district."
North looking to bounce back
First-year North coach Steve Lesmes was looking for increased offensive production. The Warriors had scored five goals and were 1-3 before playing Scioto on Sept. 4.
"As far as the results, whenever you're looking at a 1-3 record that's not what you're hoping for, but I'm pretty satisfied with how we're playing in the games," Lesmes said. "Now it's just a matter of eliminating the little mistakes that are costing us goals and capitalizing on some of the opportunities that we're getting."
North's win came against Hilliard Darby 3-1 on Aug. 28.
Senior midfielder Kaitlin Moore gad two goals and sophomore midfielder Sydney Learn scored the other.
On Aug. 30, North and Davidson were tied at 1 at halftime, but the Warriors allowed two second-half goals in a 3-1 loss.
Sophomore forward Caitlin Pearson scored to give North a 1-0 lead.
"This is actually really disappointing," senior defender Jonnie Castro said of her team's start. "We're actually a really good team. Recently, we just haven't had the outcome that we've been looking for. I think later in the season we'll get a lot better. I feel like we're just warming up. We just have to get our chemistry together. I'm a defender, so obviously I'd like to see the defense get a little stronger."
Lesmes has been pleased with the effort of junior goalie Maureen Kelly.
"She's doing well," Lesmes said. "It's kind of a new position for her. She is starting to get more comfortable with the back line and communicating. I feel like each game she is gaining more confidence. She's making some big saves and more importantly, she's doing the routine things well."