As an assistant coach for the Olentangy Orange High School boys soccer team, Jason Bayer has had to keep track of prolific scorers.

As an assistant coach for the Olentangy Orange High School boys soccer team, Jason Bayer has had to keep track of prolific scorers.

The Pioneers were led in 2009 by Aaron Horton (26 goals and eight assists) and last year by Jesus Villarroel (school-record 29 goals and nine assists).

When asked who the leading scorer was this year, Bayer had to look through the scorekeeper's log.

"I used to know that stuff off the top of my head," he said.

"Who is our leading scorer?" coach Scott Bryant asked with a laugh. "Going into (the Pioneers' 4-1 win over Watkins Memorial on Sept. 20), it was everybody. We have seven goals scored by seven different players."

That's one of the biggest differences between the 2010 Pioneers - who finished 19-3 overall after losing to Centerville 2-1 in a Division I state semifinal - and this year's team, which was 3-5-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the OCC-Capital Division before playing Franklin Heights on Sept. 27.

"It was hard to lose so many seniors, many of whom had been playing for three years on varsity," senior Gunnar Bloecher said. "They knew how to score and they were used to the big situations.

"But we have a lot of talent on this team. It's just a matter of putting it together. We can put four in the net when we are all on the same page. It's just a matter finding the right combination."

The Pioneers hope they have found it. Orange nearly doubled its scoring total in recent games against Watkins Memorial and Dublin Coffman, tallying six goals.

Jake Anderson, the team's leader with three goals before Sept. 27, became the first Pioneers player to score two goals in a game this season during a 3-2 loss to Coffman on Sept. 22. He also was the first player to score two goals in a game against the Shamrocks this season.

However, the win over Watkins Memorial was an example of Orange's scoring by committee approach as Bloecher, Mac Cole, Derek Cook and Sean O'Reilly had goals.

The absence of Horton, who helped lead Louisville to an NCAA Division I runner-up finish in 2010 and now plays for the Columbus Crew, and Villarroel, who now plays for Ohio Wesleyan, has led to a big drop in goal production.

The Pioneers averaged 1.6 goals a game and were shut out three times in the first nine games this season. In the previous three years, Orange averaged 3.9 goals a game and was shut out seven times.

"One of the hardest things to find is a true goal scorer at the high school level," Bryant said. "It's even hard to find at the professional and national level. We've been a little spoiled, but now it's a matter of finding new guys to do that."

"We don't have that dynamic scorer up top, but we have a lot of quality guys who can put it in the back of the net," Bloecher said. "That's more dangerous than having that one option."

Orange figures to need more scoring punch when it plays host to Beavercreek on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Beavers were ranked third in last week's Division I state poll and had allowed only three goals in their first 10 games.

Orange's schedule has included several teams ranked in the state polls. The Pioneers tied Big Walnut (seventh in Division II) at 0 on Sept. 6, lost to Liberty (fifth in Division I) 2-0 on Aug. 25 and lost to Gahanna (ranked second in Division I) 2-1 on Sept. 8.

"Facing those kinds of teams sets us up to have better kinds of success in the future," Bloecher said. "Hopefully, we can be that surprise team. We have been a top-four seed the past two years (in the district tournament). This year, we're flying under the radar."