Grace Kenyon and Elise Moore are different goalkeepers in almost every respect, other than that both have proven effective for the Pickerington High School North girls soccer team.

Kenyon, a junior, is right-handed while Moore, a sophomore, is left-handed.

According to coach Greg Van Kannel and the two players themselves, Moore is more outspoken on the field and tends to take more risks.

Those contrasting qualities are exactly why Van Kannel isn't deciding between the two -- at least for now.

The only discernible edge is that Kenyon starts games and Moore comes in in the second half.

"Competition is good," said Van Kannel, whose team was 6-0 overall before its OCC-Ohio Division opener Sept. 12 at Pickerington Central. "Both of them are great girls and they work their tails off.

"They bring different things. Elise might be a little more athletic than Grace, but Grace is steady back there and does some great things at times. They're pretty equal. I think they are both comfortable with it and they push each other."

North outscored its first five opponents 27-5.

With Kenyon in the net most of the way last year, the Panthers posted 12 shutouts and allowed only 14 goals the entire season as they went 18-3-1 and lost to Springboro 1-0 in overtime in a Division I state semifinal.

Moore would have seen more time if not for a concussion suffered in the season's third game against Olentangy that sidelined her most of the rest of the season.

"(That experience) helped my self-confidence," said Kenyon, who primarily was a defender before high school. "I was not super confident before that with varsity. I was nervous every game. Being in that atmosphere did a lot for me."

The 5-foot-4 Moore said she is trying to adapt Kenyon's more conservative style.

"In high school, girls like to loft shots over the top and that can sometimes bite me because I can't grab high shots," Moore said. "Grace sits lower, which is something I'm not used to doing. In high school, playing high can hurt you."

Conversely, Kenyon said she is learning from Moore as well.

"She will come out of the net more than me and I feel like I should do that sometimes," Kenyon said.

Kenyon and Moore said lessons from 2014 North graduate Hannah Wilson, who went on to play for Wittenberg University, and Illinois goalie Jaelyn Cunningham, a 2016 graduate of Central, have paid dividends.

"It was interesting to work with a female goalie because a lot of goalie coaches are guys and I feel like women and men just have different styles of play," Moore said. "It was interesting to see how they adapted to it and get tidbits from their games and add it to ours."

Both have a goal this year, as each scored in an 11-1 win at Westland on Aug. 29.

Van Kannel was noncommittal about eventually having to choose one goalie over the other.

"I am not a big fan of splitting, but they are both quality and they bring different things to the table," Van Kannel said. "Last year, Elise got hurt and we were lucky we had Grace to step in. You never know what will happen. We're fine with splitting them for now, and when we feel we have to make that decision, we'll make that decision."

Volleyball team
off to fast start

Girls volleyball coach April Boudreau said her team is right where she expected for mid-September, as the Panthers were 7-2 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Ohio entering a Sept. 12 match against Lancaster.

North gutted out consecutive wins over Canal Winchester (25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 15-10 on Aug. 31) and Central (22-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-22 on Sept. 5) for its latest tough matches of the season.

The Panthers also hung tough in their two losses entering the week, 32-30, 25-8, 25-22 to Dublin Coffman on Aug. 24 and 25-23, 23-25, 29-27, 25-17, 18-16 to Gahanna on Sept. 7.

"We bend a lot, but very rarely break," Boudreau said. "That is a sign of kids that play with heart and desire along with confidence. I honestly do not think there is one kid on our team that doesn't play with everything they have on the court."

Julia Vermilion had 23 kills against Central, while Brianna Hollingshed and Kyla Sawyer added nine each and Megan Vayansky had seven aces.

Vermilion had a team-high 112 kills through eight matches, ahead of Hollingshed (60) and Sawyer (57).

North finishes the first round of league play within the next week, visiting Reynoldsburg on Thursday, Sept. 14, and playing host to Grove City on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

"(The players) have listened to their coaches and made adjustments to their game," Boudreau said. "We have a group of very unselfish players led by a strong senior class. I feel that we are right on track with where I expected them to be."

Tennis team rights
ship after early loss

After a loss in its OCC-Ohio opener effectively ended its chance to repeat as league champion, the girls tennis team dominated its final four OCC-Ohio matches.

North lost to Central 3-2 on Aug. 24 and then won 19 of 20 courts in league play the rest of the way, defeating Gahanna (5-0 on Aug. 29), Lancaster (5-0 on Aug. 31), Reynoldsburg (5-0 on Sept. 5) and Grove City (4-1 on Sept. 7).

Central wrapped up the OCC-Ohio title with a 5-0 win over Gahanna on Sept. 7.

The Panthers were 7-3 overall before playing Columbus School for Girls on Sept. 12.

North's win over Gahanna doubled as a second-round match in the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division I district tournament. The Panthers will play Coffman in a district quarterfinal on a date to be determined.



Below are the coming schedules for the North cross country, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:


Sept. 16 -- Boys: Galion Festival at Amann's Reservoir Park; Girls: Cedarville Invitational


Sept. 18 -- Olentangy Orange and Upper Arlington at Raymond Memorial


Sept. 14 -- At Hilliard Davidson

*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Gahanna


Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Watterson

*Sept. 19 -- At Gahanna


Sept. 14 -- Home vs. Hilliard Davidson

Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

Sept. 20 -- At Westerville Central


*Sept. 14 -- At Reynoldsburg

Sept. 16 -- Pickerington North Invitational

*Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Grove City

*League contest