The strengths and weaknesses of the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys soccer team were revealed to coach Jon Sprunger during apreseason scrimmage inPerrysburg where the Wolves went 3-0-2.

The strengths and weaknesses of the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys soccer team were revealed to coach Jon Sprunger during apreseason scrimmage inPerrysburg where the Wolves went 3-0-2.

"If you look at those five games, we didn't allow a goal, but we had to sneak out a 1-0 victory and had two (scoreless) ties," said Sprunger, whose team opened last Wednesday against West Chester Lakota West and plays today at Westerville Central. "If a team can't score, you can't lose. But we're trying to create scoring opportunities for our team."

Kilbourne finished 18-3 overall last season and won a Division I district title. After opening the tournament with a 7-0 win over Franklin Heights in the second round, the Wolves defeated Dublin Scioto 4-0 in a district semifinal, Marysville 3-1 in a district final and Upper Arlington 1-0 in a regional semifinal before losing to Dublin Jerome 1-0 in a regional final.

The Wolves also captured the OCC-Central Division championship, going 7-0 and outscoring league opponents 24-4. UA placed second at 5-1-1, followed by Dublin Coffman (4-2-1), Hilliard Davidson (3-2-2), Hilliard Darby (2-3-2), Thomas Worthington (3-4), Central Crossing (1-6) and Westland (0-7).

Central Crossing and Westland are not fielding athletic teams this season because of the South-Western City Schools' levy failure on Aug. 4.

Senior Nick Hills replaces graduate Paul Hendricks at goalie and senior Andrew Taylor and sophomore Brett Hanna are expected to return to the defense, which allowed only 11 goals last season.

Seniors Sage Gardner, a second team all-league selection, and Chase Tourville (4 goals, 3 assists) and junior Jordan Hendricks could be plugged into the defense or the midfield.

Seniors Ian O'Keefe, Anthony Perito and Max Walters (5 goals, 4 assists ) and sophomore Brian Hanks are listed as midfielders, but Perito could be moved to forward with sophomore Ryan Wiet, who moved up from junior varsity midway through last season.

In addition to Hendricks, the Wolves lost midfielders Matt Wiet (2 goals, 8 assists), Brandon Silva (4 goals) and Dan Colegrove (9 goals, 5 assists), forwards Ben Gentry (8 goals, 4 assists) and Thomas Kramer (7 goals, 1 assist) and defender John Patch to graduation.

Matt Wiet, who is playing at Indiana University, was ThisWeek's Super 12 captain last year as well as Player of the Year in the state, district and OCC-Central. Silva, now at Akron, made first-team all-league and second-team all-district and Hendricks made first-team all-league and third-team all-district. Colegrove and Kramer made second-team all-league and Gentry made honorable mention all-league.

Kilbourne was missing O'Keefe (broken ankle), Silva (family emergency) and Gardner (concussion) for the regional final. In addition, Kramer, Jordan Hendricks and Taylor were injured in the regional semifinal and weren't at full strength.

"Last year will always be 'the season that could've been,'" Sprunger said. "It didn't endthe way anyone predicted. However, with this group we have just as talented players as some of those guys."

•The girls team had one of its best seasons last year but ended up with no trophies to show for it.

Kilbourne finished 13-2-3 overall but failed to win the OCC-Central title and lost to Jerome 4-2 in a Division I district semifinal. The Wolves had a first-round bye and defeated Westerville South1-0 in overtime in the second round before losing to the Celtics.

The Wolves went 4-0-3 in the OCC-Central to tie Upper Arlington (5-1-1) for second behind Davidson (5-0-2) and ahead of Coffman (3-1-3), Darby (2-3-2), Thomas (2-5), Central Crossing (0-5-1) and Westland (0-6).

"The season we had last year was pretty epic," said coach Courtney Irwin, whose team opened last Tuesday against Olentangy Liberty and plays today at Westerville Central. "But ending without an OCC or district championship has been more motivation for this season."

It may take Kilbourne some time to rebuild its offense, which averaged 3.17 goals per game last year.

Forwards Kendyl Reed and Emily Smith and midfielder Nithya Kumar graduated. Reed, who had 12 goals and 15 assists last season, was the OCC-Central Player of the Year and first-team all-district. Smith made second-team all-league and Kumar made honorable mention all-league.

Seniors Olivia Hein, who was a midfielder last year, and Maggie Sullivan and junior Kelsey Whittimore are expected to play forward, and senior Tatum Mounts and juniors Sammi Adams, Lauren Rossi and Katie Wiet are the top midfielders.

The Wolves, who allowed only 13 goals and had 12 shutouts last season, return their goalie, junior Devon Tabata, and most of their defenders, including senior sweeper Holly Walton and senior defender Corey McClellan.

Tabata made first-team all-league and second-team all-district last year and Walton made second-team all-league.

Seniors Danielle Reymann and Kristen Bond also are expected to see time at defender.

"It's a tremendous asset," Irwin said of the group of defenders. "They'll be our backbone of success this year."


Schedules

BOYS

Aug. 26 -- vs. West Chester Lakota West

Aug. 27 -- at Westerville Central

*Sept. 1 -- vs. Hilliard Darby

*Sept. 8 -- at Upper Arlington

Sept. 10 -- at Reynoldsburg

Sept. 12 -- vs. Dublin Scioto

Sept. 15 -- at Mount Vernon

Sept. 17 -- vs. DeSales

*Sept. 22 -- vs. Hilliard Davidson

Sept. 26 -- at Copley

Sept. 27 -- at Mentor

Sept. 29 -- vs. Gahanna

*Oct. 6 -- at Dublin Coffman

Oct. 8 -- vs. Dublin Jerome

Oct. 10 -- vs. Solon

*Oct. 13 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

GIRLS

Aug. 25 -- vs. Olentangy Liberty

Aug. 27 -- at Westerville Central

Aug. 29 -- vs. Watterson

*Sept. 1 -- at Hilliard Darby

*Sept. 8 -- vs. Upper Arlington

Sept. 14 -- at Huber Heights Wayne

Sept. 15 -- vs. Mount Vernon

Sept. 19 -- at Toledo Central Catholic

*Sept. 22 -- at Hilliard Davidson

Sept. 24 -- vs. DeSales

Sept. 26 -- at Medina

Sept. 29 -- vs. Gahanna

Oct. 3 -- vs. St. Paris Graham

*Oct. 6 -- vs. Dublin Coffman

*Oct. 13 -- vs. Thomas Worthington

Oct. 15 -- at Pickerington North

*OCC-Central