Karlee Cammarata and Heidi Flores have built a sense of familiarity with one another that has helped solidify the back line for the Central Crossing High School girls soccer team.
The senior defenders have played beside each other for the last two seasons and an additional club season. That experience has helped the Comets as they push for back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in program history.
"We work well together," said Cammarata, whose team was 7-4-1 overall and 0-2 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 26. "We have a bond and if we don't have time to communicate, we would already know where each other is going. We know what the other person is thinking of doing before they do it."
Coach Amy Williams said that kind of sixth sense is important for defenders.
"Karlee and Heidi are naturals together because they have played together back there for two years and they have anchored us in the back," said Williams, whose team finished 9-8-1 last fall for its first winning season since 2007. "They know each other so well and they can play off of each other.
"Karlee knows that if she goes up, Heidi is going to come over for support. It's the same when Heidi is moving up; Karlee always comes over and has her mark and has her back, and they just know that. It's something they don't have to say. They can communicate with their eyes as well. They know each other so well."
Through 12 games, Central Crossing's defense had given up 1.33 goals per game and had four shutouts.
"We are all close and we work well together," said Flores, who plans to attend Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, but does not expect to play soccer. "Being close helps us a lot with our play on the field."
Williams said Flores is a speedy competitor who brings way more to the game than fast feet.
"Heidi is a highly intelligent ball player who reads the game well and has a keen sense of field awareness," Williams said. "She makes the smart play instead of the more difficult play. The philosophy of playing smarter than harder is totally Heidi.
"She also does a great job of defending people one-on-one and preventing the ball from crossing. Sometimes we have her mark girls who are the other team's playmaker to prevent the ball from actually getting to the shooter to score."
Cammarata plans to attend Heidelberg to study nursing and play soccer.
"The strength of Karlee's game is her athleticism and her natural athletic ability to see the field and read the ball," Williams said. "She reads players really well and the maturity she has for the game comes from playing club ball. She has that athletic ability and she is a natural competitor."
The Comets are looking for their first berth to a Division I district semifinal. Last season, they lost to Grove City 3-1 in the second round.
"A few years back, (the program) was about having fun and keeping players on our team. Now it's about being part of a highly competitive program," Williams said. "We look to go as far as we can in the tournament and our schedule has amped up big time. It's paid off for us and we have improved so much."
The boys cross country team finished 11th (318 points) of 21 teams behind champion Olentangy Liberty (65) in the Division I race of the Bob Reall Invitational on Sept. 23 at Lancaster.
Greg Patrick was 50th in 18 minutes, 7.5 seconds to lead the Comets.
He was followed by Dominic Manson (59th, 18:17.2), C.J. Patrick (62nd, 18:23.6), Kyle Buerkle (73rd, 18:38.6), Avery Wright (84th, 18:58.0), Michael Fry (120th, 20:04.3) and Dylan Price (134th, 20:59.8).
Lilly Dimmerling (60th, 22:39.6) led the girls team, which finished 18th (489) of 22 teams behind champion Lancaster (89).
Zoey Calafatis (64th, 22:47.0), Kaylee Watson (102nd, 22:47.0), Mallory Lalonde (164th, 27:59.3) and Lay'Marra Barker (170th, 30:10.8) also competed.
Golfers to play in
The boys golf team plays in a Division I sectional Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Turnberry, with the top four teams and top four players not on qualifying teams advancing to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
In the second round of the OCC-Central tournament Aug. 14 at Turnberry, Caleb Davern was medalist with a 72.
Last season, Davern shot a 69 in the Clover Valley sectional to advance to district, but the Comets were ninth (361) of 12 teams behind district-qualifiers New Albany (299), St. Charles (301), Dublin Scioto (309) and Dublin Coffman (323).
Central Crossing competes against Marysville on Thursday, Sept. 28, at Darby Creek.
Below are the coming schedules for the Central Crossing cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 30 -- Erin L. Nance Fall Distance Classic at London Country Club
Sept. 28 -- Home vs. Horizon Science
*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Dublin Coffman
Sept. 28 -- At Logan
*Oct. 3 -- At Coffman
Sept. 28 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley
*Oct. 3 -- At Marysville
*Sept. 28 -- Home vs. Marysville. The Comets lost to the Monarchs 25-19, 25-22, 25-21 on Sept. 7.
Sept. 30 -- At Marion Harding
*Oct. 3 -- At Hilliard Davidson. The Comets lost to the Wildcats 25-12, 25-15, 27-25 on Sept. 12.