Teamwork has been a key ingredient to the success of the Olentangy Orange High School field hockey team this season.
The Pioneers were 7-1-3 overall and 4-1-1 in the Central Ohio Field Hockey League-West Division after playing Upper Arlington to a scoreless tie Sept. 24. They lost to three-time defending state champion Thomas Worthington 2-0 on Sept. 10.
"Our team has been successful thus far because the girls have been playing as a team," coach Anna Karousis said. "Each player has stepped up on offense and defense.
"We have a group of players that can be dangerous in the circle, but they are willing to make great passes to create opportunities. We're on pace to break the school record for goals in a season despite having a much more difficult schedule than in previous seasons."
The Pioneers have been playing strong defense. They defeated Dayton Oakwood 3-1 on Sept. 22, which marked only the third goal they had allowed through 10 games.
"Our defense has taken a real step forward," Karousis said. "Mia Jakubowski, Emily Noble and Sammy Myers have really locked down opposing offenses, and first-year goalie Chloe Fuller has only allowed the three goals in 10 games and has a 91.2 save percentage. Sydney Lowry, a midfielder/forward, deserves credit as well because she's been willing to adjust her role at times and play more on the defensive end when we need it."
Orange had 18 goals through 10 games led by Josie Vance, who had six goals and three assists. Lowry had six goals, Jakubowski had one goal and four assists and Devyn Fischer had three assists.
The Pioneers have big games ahead against Liberty on Monday, Oct. 1, in league play and against perennial state power Columbus Academy on Oct. 4.
"Both of those teams have a pedigree of success. They expect to win every game they play and bring that confidence with them," Karousis said. "Our biggest challenge will be to execute and believe that we belong on any field in the state and that we have a chance to win against anyone we play."
Boys runners win at Centerville
The boys cross country team edged Miamisburg by one point, 132-133, to finish first in the 24-team Saturday Night Lights meet Sept. 22 at Centerville.
Andrew Schroff was seventh (15 minutes, 44.0 seconds) to lead Orange, followed by Alex Kenish (27th, 16:12.2), Lincoln Weber (36th, 16:27.9), Cole Benishek (44th, 16:32.8), Jake Ethridge (52nd, 16:39.7), Aidan Emhuff (117th, 17:24.4) and Merek Helmer (121st, 17:27.9).
The girls finished 12th (353) of 28 teams behind champion Beavercreek (120) as Allie Guagenti led the Pioneers by finishing 18th (18:16.6). Also competing were Lindsay Ott (40th, 18:55.2), Paige Benecke (87th, 19:47.8), Abby Schroff (99th, 19:57.6), Grace Frye (130th, 20:23.9), Olivia Dieckmann (143rd, 20:32.1) and Corinne Hazel (147th, 20:34.0).
Below are the coming schedules for the Orange cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 29 -- Midwest Meet of Champions at Hilliard Bradley
*Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty
Sept. 27 -- Olentangy Berlin at Bent Tree
Oct. 2 -- Division I sectional at Denison Golf Club. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 9 at Apple Valley.
Sept. 27 -- Berlin, Liberty and Olentangy at Bent Tree
Oct. 2 -- Division I sectional at Royal American. The top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 9 at Cooks Creek.
Sept. 29 -- At Gahanna
*Oct. 2 -- At Olentangy
Sept. 27 -- At Franklin Heights
Sept. 29 -- Home vs. DeSales
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Olentangy
Sept. 27 -- At New Albany
*Sept. 28 -- Home vs. Westerville South in makeup from Sept. 24
*Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Westerville North
*Sept. 27 -- Home vs. Liberty. The Pioneers lost to the Patriots 12-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-20 on Sept. 4.
*Oct. 2 -- At Westerville Central. The Pioneers defeated the Warhawks 25-12, 25-14, 25-18 on Sept. 6.