Izzie Vaccari tries to be a trend-setter for the Dublin Coffman High School girls soccer team.
As the goalkeeper for a Shamrocks' team that has gotten re-energized after a rough season a year ago, Vaccari believes her role goes beyond just knowing where and when to dive in an attempt to stop an opposing shot.
"Last year, I thought I played well, but we weren't clicking as a whole so we weren't getting necessarily the results we wanted," Vaccari said. "This year, everything's coming together. At least my play is good, and based off my play, I can give them the boost that they need."
The Shamrocks were 7-1-2 overall and 2-0 in the OCC-Central Division before playing Marysville on Sept. 26.
Vaccari had posted five shutouts through 10 games for Coffman, which was third in the Division I area coaches poll last week behind Pickerington North and Gahanna.
Coffman's only loss through 10 games came against Pickerington North, 2-0 on Sept. 5, but Vaccari followed that with back-to-back shutouts. She then helped the Shamrocks beat Jerome 2-1 on Sept. 14.
Coffman had won four games in a row before playing Marysville, including putting together a season-best offensive performance in a 9-1 win over Westland on Sept. 19.
Through 10 games, Vaccari had 19 saves.
"She's always been solid," coach Costa Kalorides said. "She played great for us last year, so it's been no real surprise. She's made some big saves. We've been able to play some of the better teams in the area, which has helped with our motivation."
Vaccari served as backup goalie two years ago behind Mikayla Buckley as the Shamrocks were a district runner-up.
Last season, Coffman went 4-6-8 overall but Vaccari allowed two goals or fewer in all but two games and posted seven shutouts.
Combined with senior Haruko Tanaka and junior McKenna Schaefer at center back and junior Ellie Redman and freshman Ally Beckman at outside back, Vaccari has helped the defense to again be the Shamrocks' No. 1 strength.
Vaccari, whose sister Addie is a freshman who plays for the Shamrocks, has committed to Fairmont State, a Division II program in West Virginia, where she plans to study nursing.
She also was a member of Coffman's girls basketball team that made it to a regional final last winter.
Even in that sport, Vaccari knows that her biggest role is playing defense.
"This group is really fun to play with," she said. "It's definitely a different team dynamic than last year. We're a year older and we just get along really well, just mesh together really nicely.
"We have a lot of people that can step up off the bench that can help us, and we didn't have that last year. When we played Jerome, that was probably one of the best games we've played as a team. It was so fun even watching the film of it, just re-watching what happened."
taking steps forward
The girls volleyball team had no trouble getting through the first round of the OCC-Central schedule.
The Shamrocks had won 130 consecutive league matches and were 12-2 overall and 5-0 in the league before playing Hilliard Davidson on Sept. 26.
Their only losses through 14 matches were to Cincinnati Ursuline Academy (25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-9 on Aug. 26) and Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame (25-12, 21-25, 25-17, 28-26 on Sept. 16).
Last season, Mount Notre Dame beat Coffman in a state semifinal and ended up the state runner-up while Ursuline Academy was a regional runner-up.
The Shamrocks beat Avon -- a Division I district runner-up last season -- 25-16, 25-8, 25-20 on Sept. 23.
"(Mount Notre Dame and Ursuline Academy) are the top two teams in the state," coach Mary Anne Souder said. "I still think we could have played better against both of them, but we were on the road, and we're putting ourselves in the toughest position we can because we feel like we might see them again if we make it out of the central Ohio regional."
Outside hitter Riley Wagoner had 18 kills, 18 serves received, two serving aces and 11 digs against Avon.
Souder also has been pleased with the growth of junior middle hitter Carmen Haefke and sophomore opposite hitter Mackenzie Curry.
"We're still trying to find a lineup because we've been mixing things up every game," Souder said. "We have a lot of strengths and we have a lot of younger players who are coming along right now. We're working on our blocking right now.
"We're playing every single Saturday this year and no tournaments. We want people to push us to five (games), because when we get to the tournament, we're going to have to go through the long matches."
Boys, girls runners
rounding into form
The regular season is in its stretch run for the cross country teams.
There are just two invitationals remaining for the Shamrocks before they compete in the OCC-Central meet Oct. 14 at Davidson.
On Sept. 23 in the Division I race of the Bob Reall Invitational at Lancaster, the boys were sixth (139) of 21 teams behind champion Olentangy Liberty (65). Lucas Bons was first (15 minutes, 54.7 seconds) and Alex Dediu placed third (16:26.4), while Ryan Bosworth (40th, 17:52.4), Arnaldo Gonzalez-Calero (49th, 18:05.6) and Cameron Hull (52nd, 18:10.2) rounded out Coffman's top five.
The girls finished fifth (157) of 22 teams behind champion Lancaster (89) at the Reall Invitational. Ellie Weber placed sixth (19:57.2), followed by Leah Jablonski (25th, 21:18.6), Mackenzie Meshcer (27th, 21:26.1), Emma Niswonger (46th, 22:01.5) and Willow Hayward (53rd, 22:29.7).
Below are the coming schedules for the Coffman cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 30 -- Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Darby
Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Hartley
*Oct. 4 -- Home vs. Scioto
Sept. 30 -- Jerome Honorary Invitational at Tartan Fields
Oct. 3 -- Division I sectional at Clover Valley. Top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.
Sept. 28 -- New Albany and Grove City at Rattlesnake Ridge
Oct. 3 -- Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial. Top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 10 at Cooks Creek.
*Sept. 28 -- At Marysville
*Oct. 3 -- At Central Crossing
*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Central Crossing
Oct. 3 -- At Bexley
*Sept. 28 -- At Westland. The Shamrocks beat the Cougars 25-8, 25-7, 25-4 on Sept. 7.
*Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Marysville. The Shamrocks beat the Monarchs 25-9, 25-8, 25-8 on Sept. 12.
Oct. 4 -- At Casstown Miami East