Grove City Christian School boys soccer coach Dan Milam believes his team's record, at first glance, might be a little deceiving.
The Eagles were 5-8-1 overall before playing Liberty Union on Oct. 9 and finished 3-5 in the MSL-Cardinal Division after losing to Zanesville Rosecrans 4-0 on Oct. 6. Milam, however, thinks they're playing much better than their record indicates.
"I don't think our results reflect how well we've played many games, but it comes down to putting goals in the net and that's been the struggle," Milam said. "We've done a lot of great things, but we don't have the results that we expected."
Grove City Christian, which had four consecutive winning seasons entering this year, is getting set for the Division III district tournament. The 10th-seeded Eagles play host to 19th-seeded Patriot Prep on Monday, Oct. 15, and the winner plays host to 22nd-seeded Ready in the second round Wednesday, Oct. 17.
"That's how we're approaching it from this point on: How can we take all the great things that we've done and put together this year and correct some of the issues and improve our scoring opportunities?" Milam said. "With the tournament, you never know what's going to happen. One team could have a great game and the other not so great and that could be an upset."
The Eagles' league wins came against Fisher Catholic (2-1 on Aug. 29) and Harvest Prep (5-1 on Sept. 8 and 3-0 on Sept. 29).
Wellington, which defeated Grove City Christian 4-0 on Oct. 3, won the league title at 7-0-1. Milam believes the Jaguars will be the team to beat at the district level.
Milam has been impressed with the continued strong play of senior goalkeeper A.J. Gillespie.
"A.J. has been playing great," Milam said. "He's kept us in a lot of games, but unfortunately we haven't gotten some goals at the other end for him. As always, he's been a great leader for the team and doing a great job in goal."
David Claffey, Sebastian Sosa and Gillespie scored and goalie Brad Cantley had four saves in the Sept. 29 win over Harvest Prep.
The Eagles trailed Worthington Christian 1-0 in the first half Oct. 2 when the game was canceled because of bad weather.
Boys golf team closes season
The boys golf team closed its season by competing in a Division III sectional Sept. 28 at Turnberry.
The Eagles finished fifth (374) of six teams behind champion Worthington Christian (299) as the top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district Oct. 2 at Denison Golf Club.
Junior Brandon VonIns led Grove City Christian with an 85, followed by seniors Gabe Baugess (93), Jacob Brunney (96), Mark Rieser (100) and Gavin Robbins (107).
Junior Tim Sullivan, sophomore Ethan Koch and freshman Ethan Doyle also are eligible to return.
Baugess, Brunney and VonIns made the all-MSL-Cardinal team.
"We had a much improved year," coach Josh Braniff said. "We finished second in a very competitive league. Our team improved match by match and threw up some impressive scores. We will miss our five seniors, especially our leader and four-year varsity player, Gabe Baugess."
Football team faces big test at home
The football team will look to build on its 54-7 win at Fairfield Christian on Oct. 6 when it plays host to undefeated Harvest Prep on Friday, Oct. 12.
The Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak, improving to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in the MSL-Cardinal.
Christian Lautenschleger scored on runs of 68 and 3 yards in the first quarter to help the Eagles take a 26-0 lead. He finished with 171 yards on 14 carries, and Brett Baker completed eight of 10 passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns.
Harvest Prep improved to a 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the league with a 22-7 win over Berne Union on Oct. 5. Da'Quan Owens-Johnson ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
"Harvest Prep will require a tremendous effort by our football team," coach Hank Patterson said. "They are well-coached and they have talented skill players and a formidable defensive and offensive line. We must overachieve to accomplish this goal. We must not think about winning, but think about completing our assignments 100 percent."
Below are the coming schedules for the Grove City Christian cross country and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 13 -- MSL-Cardinal meet at Berne Union
*Oct. 11 -- Home vs. Millersport
*Oct. 16 -- At Millersport in makeup from Sept. 18
Oct. 18 -- At eighth-seeded Tree of Life in first round of Division IV district tournament. The Eagles are seeded ninth of 16 teams.