The strategy for the Thomas Worthington High School boys soccer team worked to perfection in its opener, but the execution was lacking in its second game.

The strategy for the Thomas Worthington High School boys soccer team worked to perfection in its opener, but the execution was lacking in its second game.

The Cardinals, who are relying heavily on defense this season, defeated New Albany 2-0 in their opener Aug. 21 but lost to St. Charles 2-0 on Aug. 25.

"We want to play defense and take possession of the game and then make the shots when they're given to us," coach Josh Fenton said. "We looked good against New Albany. St. Charles has three or four players in the midfield that are very talented and they controlled us through the midfield. We've got to learn from this loss and move forward in a hurry. We've got some big games coming up."

Thomas, which opened OCC-Central Division play Aug. 28 against Upper Arlington, plays host to Worthington Kilbourne in a non-league game Thursday, Aug. 30. The Cardinals and Wolves were OCC-Central rivals the past four years, but Kilbourne moved to the OCC-Cardinal this year as part of OCC realignment.

"The good news after what we feel was a disappointing outing against St. Charles is that we get to go right back out there against two quality opponents who we'll be ready to play," Fenton said. "After the (OCC-Central) opener against a UA program that always has a strong side, we get to play our rivalry game. Even though that won't be a league game, fireworks will be going off that night."

Fenton said senior defenders Ryan Dunick and Thomas Roberts and junior defender Stephen Withers have stood out thus far.

"Roberts is one of the best one-on-one defenders in central Ohio, perhaps the state," Fenton said. "Dunick is a three-year letterman, a leader. He's making good runs and building out of the back. He has really embraced his role.

"Withers has been a pleasant surprise and played all 80 minutes in both games. He's cool under pressure and he's a track and cross country guy with great stamina to stay with all the fast forwards we play against in central Ohio."

Against New Albany, senior midfielder James Burpee and sophomore midfielder Christian Quinn scored and senior goalkeeper Jesse Greene had two saves. Greene had three saves against St. Charles.

Kilbourne also defeated New Albany in its opener, winning 1-0 on Aug. 23 as junior midfielder/forward Grant Nash scored and junior goalie Joey Cipicchio had two saves. The Wolves then lost to West Chester Lakota West 2-0 on Aug. 25.

Kilbourne began OCC-Cardinal play Aug. 28 against Westerville South.

Kilbourne girls show off offensive power

The Kilbourne girls team displayed its firepower in its first two games, scoring a combined nine goals.

The Wolves defeated Delaware 4-3 in their opener Aug. 23 and beat Big Walnut 5-0 on Aug. 25 before beginning OCC-Cardinal play Aug. 28 against Westerville South.

Against Delaware, the Wolves got two goals apiece from senior forward Selena Fushimi-Karns and her sister, junior defender Celeste Fushimi-Karns.

Sophomore forward Miriam Bassani had two goals against Big Walnut and freshman forward Carli Taute, senior midfielder Naomi Barker and junior midfielder Erin Mahaffey each scored one. Sophomore goalie Alex Lawrence had five saves in the shutout after making two in the opener.

The Wolves play host to Olentangy Orange on Thursday, Aug. 30.