Alyssa Estepp may have scored the biggest goal to date this season for the Columbus School for Girls soccer team, even though the senior's primary job for the Unicorns is to prevent goals from being scored.
CSG's starting goalkeeper, she scored the tying goal against perennial district power Worthington Christian with 46 seconds remaining in a 2-all tie on Sept. 2.
"I was still in goal and they sent me up for a free kick," said Estepp, a Reynoldsburg resident. "I told myself that if I was going to score a goal this year, it would be here. Our assistant coach (Genelle Castro) took a video of (the goal) and, to see everyone go crazy, it was just great because I don't think we have ever beaten them."
Actually, CSG has beaten the Warriors, but the last time was in 2008. Worthington Christian won the next eight meetings, outscoring the Unicorns 38-5. The Warriors didn't surrender more than one goal in any of the games and posted three shutouts.
Playing out of the net is nothing new for Estepp. She was a midfielder as a freshman, split time between playing in goal and the midfield as a sophomore and has spent time at forward the last two seasons.
Estepp scored seven goals as a freshman, eight as a sophomore and three as a junior. The goal against the Warriors was her first this season.
"Alyssa is just an unbelievable athlete," coach Mindy Hammond said. "You can't match her speed on the field. The speed she has is very dangerous. Anytime we pull her and put her on the field, teams get nervous. She's phenomenal in goal, but she's an incredible threat out here on the field. If I had two of her, she would be on the field and she would dominate."
Hammond said freshman defender Eva Nicolosi is being eased into the goalie position.
"We have a freshman that is a good backup goalkeeper, but she's still a freshman," Hammond said. "If we're down a goal, Alyssa will be in the field. Come October, she will be on the field more and we'll see what that looks like for us. She is a major weapon for us."
The Unicorns were 3-1-2 before playing Chillicothe Zane Trace on Sept. 19 after finishing 4-11-2 last season.
"Last year was a big rebuilding year," said Estepp, who had 32 saves and three shutouts through six games. "It makes all of the winning this year sweeter because of what we went through. It was all about bringing in the underclassmen and getting them to where they are more comfortable on the field. I think we did a good job with that. This year, everyone kind of knows their roles and what they are doing."
Estepp also runs sprints and relays for the track and field team and wants to compete in both sports in college. That's why she turned down a Division I scholarship offer from Marshall University to attend Ohio Wesleyan.
"I really wanted to do both (sports) in college, so I'm going to Ohio Wesleyan," Estepp said. "It would be too much to do both in Division I."
Despite being 5-foot-6, Estepp expects to play goalie at the next level. It's a position she has played since she was 8 years old.
"I think I have a good sense of communication, I'm good at organizing the defense and I'm really quick, so if it's a one-on-one, I can come out for (the ball) and beat the forward to it," she said. "I think I need to work on high (shots) because I'm kind of short. That's something you can always improve on."
Hammond said Estepp has been a difference-maker for the Unicorns.
"Alyssa is a pleasure to coach and her work ethic is always there," Hammond said. "She's the voice of our team."
Volleyball team posts
first-ever CCL win
The volleyball team defeated Ready 17-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-16 on Sept. 7 to win the program's first match against a CCL opponent.
The Unicorns were 8-4 overall and 1-3 in the CCL before playing DeSales on Sept. 18.
"That was a big win for us since it was the first CCL win ever," first-year coach Craig Gentry said. "We're working on being consistent, but our players don't stop no matter what the score is. Even if we get down, we keep fighting and do what we can to come back."
Gentry said his top performers have been middle hitter Maryanne Boyle, outside hitter/back-row player Lauren Carmon, defensive specialist Peyton Jackson and setter Fiona McAlearney.
The Unicorns lost league matches to DeSales (25-20, 25-19, 25-15 on Aug. 29), Watterson (25-13, 17-25, 25-11, 25-16 on Sept. 5) and Hartley (25-9, 25-13, 25-12 on Sept. 12).
Field hockey team
gets first league win
The field hockey team was 2-7-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-East Division before playing Columbus Academy on Sept. 19.
The Unicorns picked up their first league victory with a 3-0 shutout of Lancaster on Sept. 12. Lily Berger, Maura Hackett and Katie Wagenbrenner scored.
Sidney Flynn and Hackett scored and goalie Olivia Barry-Wilson had two saves in a 2-1 win over the Hilliard Lynx club team on Sept. 7.
Also in recent COFHL-East play, CSG lost to Watterson 6-0 on Sept. 5 and lost to Worthington Kilbourne 1-0 on Sept. 11.