First-year Dublin Scioto High School girls soccer coach Kevin Masterson is hoping to build on the team's success the past two seasons under former coach Doug Williamson.
The Irish finished 9-7-3 overall last season and 8-7-1 in 2016 after winning just two games in 2015.
Scioto was 0-1-2 before opening OCC-Cardinal Division play Aug. 28 at first-year Olentangy Berlin. The Irish played Lancaster to a scoreless tie on Aug. 25 after tying Watkins Memorial at 1 on Aug. 18 and losing to Grove City 3-2 on Aug. 21.
Junior forward Maddie Salvator scored against Watkins Memorial and Salvator and freshman midfielder Tiffany Trihn scored against Grove City.
"I'm pretty happy with what we're trying to get into us and figure out," Masterson said. "I'd like us to get a little more polished, but it's a good start."
Masterson spent the past six years with the Worthington Kilbourne boys program, serving as the junior varsity A coach and a varsity assistant the last five seasons after coaching the j.v. B team in 2012. He was the j.v. coach at Big Walnut in 2011 and also served as a coach with the Classics Eagles club program from 2011-14.
"He's done well," senior midfielder Sabrina Veliev said of Masterson. "He's brought new technique, new formations. With our inexperienced players, he's done a really good job of building up their confidence to play in the game. He's been working on being very technical this year and improving our passes."
Williamson compiled a 17-14-4 overall record and a 2-7-3 mark in the OCC-Cardinal with the Irish.
Last season, Scioto went 1-3-2 in the league to tie Delaware for fifth behind champion Jerome (5-0-1).
"The league is strong. It's always strong," Masterson said. "The OCC is strong. I imagine it's going to be a battle, but hopefully we're in the mix."
Among the returnees are senior midfielder Brianna Jordan, who was named special mention all-league last season, and senior forward Allie Vogel, who was honorable mention all-league.
Also back are seniors Ali Adams (defender), Jessie Hartman (defender), Kiara Jones (defender), Brianna Rogers (goalkeeper) and Mady Suba (defender) and juniors Andrea Downing (forward) and Alexis McKee (midfielder).
Other players are senior Lexi Meyers (forward), junior Hope Miller (defender), sophomore Abby Topetzes (goalie) and freshmen Natalie Beasley (midfielder), Rachel Fullerton (forward), Kylie Nettles (defender) and Sammi Norrod (midfielder).
"We're working pretty well as a team and we're going to continue to work really hard," Suba said. "Our goal is to (be) OCC champs and we're going to work hard until that happens."
Boys soccer team also has new coach
The boys soccer team also has a new coach in Erik Ekis, who replaced 10-year coach Chad Snider.
Ekis last coached at the prep level in 2005, with the Westerville Central girls team.
In Central's inaugural season in 2003, Ekis guided the Warhawks to the Division II state title game, where they lost to Bay Village Bay 4-0 to finish 18-4. In 2005, Central lost to Coffman 1-0 in a Division I district final.
In three seasons under Ekis, the Warhawks went 47-11-1.
Ekis previously served as girls coach at DeSales from 1997-2001, guiding the Stallions to Division II state titles in 1997 and 1998, and coached the boys team at Westerville North from 1991-94.
Ekis also served as a director of the Classics Eagles club program from 1991-2016.
"I love it. It's a ton of fun," Ekis said of coaching a high school program. "It's obviously very different than the club soccer atmosphere. You have a certain amount of ability in front of you and you have three to four months to produce the best product you can on the field."
Ekis took over an Irish program that finished 2-15 overall and 0-6 in the OCC-Cardinal last season.
Scioto was 0-1-2 before opening league play Aug. 28 against first-year Berlin. The Irish tied Marysville at 1 on Aug. 17 and Groveport at 1 on Aug. 21 before losing to New Albany 4-1 on Aug. 23.
Junior forward Marshall Smilonich scored against both Marysville and Groveport.
"The start to our season is a tough one, a tough stretch," Ekis said. "We'll be underdogs quite a few times this season. We'll do the best we can to be better one game at a time."
Other returnees include junior midfielder/defender Gavin Wigg, who had a team-high five goals last season, and senior midfielder/defender Ty Snyder and junior mid-fielder/defender Zack McQuade, both of whom scored four.
Also back are seniors Ben Bolyard (goalie), Tanzim Chowdhury (midfielder), Cameron Gastaldo (midfielder) and Bradley Rohrig (midfielder) and juniors Aidan Bunner (midfielder), Max Cebada (midfielder/forward), Declan Farrell (goalie), Colin McKenzie (defender) and Jayden Tharp (midfielder/defender).
Other players are senior Joonhwan Yoo (midfielder), sophomores Shea Adesso (defender/midfielder), Jesus Arellano (midfielder) and Braden Cunningham (midfielder/forward) and freshman Jayden Lundsford (midfielder).
Snider, who compiled a 70-88-15 record at Scioto, is now the coach at Hilliard Bradley. The Irish play host to the Jaguars on Oct. 2.
Volleyball coach likes team's athleticism
The girls volleyball team was 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Hilliard Darby on Aug. 28.
The Irish opened Aug. 18 with wins over Canal Winchester (25-20, 25-20) and Hamilton Township (25-12, 25-12) and then beat first-year Berlin 25-19, 25-19, 25-15 in their OCC-Cardinal opener Aug. 21 before losing to Delaware 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 25-19 in league play on Aug. 23.
"The varsity squad is super athletic at every position," said ninth-year coach Jackie Wilson, whose team finished 12-13 overall and 6-6 in the league last season. "We're not huge, we don't have a lot of height, but we play fast and we're pretty athletic."
Among the returnees are senior outside hitter Natalie Hutras, who was special mention all-league last season.
Also back are seniors Sam Higley (opposite hitter) and Sydney Zupnick (defensive specialist), junior Lauren Erickson (outside hitter) and sophomores Abby Leonard (setter), Ashleigh Rothe (setter/opposite hitter) and Karleigh Rothe (middle blocker/outside hitter).
Other players are seniors Mary Grace Hamlin (defensive specialist) and Meera Nair (opposite hitter), juniors Lucia Adams (middle blocker) and Lena Beasley (middle blocker) and Marlae Davis (outside hitter) and freshman Ayva Leon (outside hitter/defensive specialist).
The Irish are back playing their home matches at Scioto after being forced to play most of their home matches at Davis Middle School last season while repairs were being made to the gymnasium floor at the high school.
"Our gym looks great," Wilson said. "We treated (last season) like it was any other match. Some of our upperclassmen felt it was nostalgic. The only part that was really frustrating was getting the kids there for our home games. It felt like an away game."
Aug. 17 -- at Marysville
Aug. 21 -- at Groveport
Aug. 23 -- at New Albany
*Aug. 28 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin
*Sept. 4 -- at Delaware
Sept. 6 -- vs. Big Walnut
Sept. 10 -- at Centennial
*Sept. 13 -- at Hilliard Darby
Sept. 15 -- at Reynoldsburg
Sept. 18 -- vs. Olentangy
*Sept. 20 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
Sept. 21 -- at Olentangy
*Sept. 25 -- at Thomas Worthington
Sept. 29 -- at Logan
*Oct. 2 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
*Oct. 9 -- at Jerome
Oct. 11 -- vs. Franklin Heights
Aug. 18 -- at Watkins Memorial
Aug. 21 -- vs. Grove City
Aug. 25 -- vs. Lancaster
*Aug. 28 -- at Olentangy Berlin
*Sept. 4 -- vs. Delaware
Sept. 6 -- at Mount Vernon
*Sept. 13 -- vs. Hilliard Darby
Sept. 15 -- at Centennial
*Sept. 20 -- at Worthington Kilbourne
Sept. 22 -- at Cincinnati Landmark Christian
*Sept. 25 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
Sept. 27 -- vs. Newark
*Oct. 2 -- at Hilliard Bradley
Oct. 4 -- vs. Watterson
*Oct. 9 -- vs. Jerome
Oct. 13 -- at Bellville Clear Fork
Aug. 18 -- vs. Canal Winchester and Hamilton Township
*Aug. 21 -- vs. Olentangy Berlin
*Aug. 23 -- at Delaware
*Aug. 28 -- at Hilliard Darby
*Aug. 29 -- vs. Worthington Kilbourne
*Sept. 4 -- at Thomas Worthington
*Sept. 6 -- vs. Hilliard Bradley
Sept. 11 -- vs. Olentangy
*Sept. 13 -- at Jerome
Sept. 15 -- vs. Mount Vernon, Teays Valley and Upper Arlington
*Sept. 20 -- at Olentangy Berlin
*Sept. 25 -- vs. Delaware
*Sept. 27 -- at Hilliard Darby
Sept. 29 -- at Logan with Pickerington Central
*Oct. 2- at Worthington Kilbourne
*Oct. 4 -- vs. Thomas Worthington
*Oct. 9 -- at Hilliard Bradley
*Oct. 11 -- vs. Jerome
Below are the coming schedules for the Scioto cross country, field hockey, boys golf and girls tennis teams:
Sept. 1 -- Ashland Invitational
Aug. 31 -- At Hilliard club
Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Lancaster
Aug. 30 -- Westerville North at Glenross
Sept. 4 -- Hilliard Bradley at Darby Creek
*Aug. 30 -- At Thomas Worthington
*Sept. 4 -- Home vs. Bradley