The Dublin Jerome boys soccer team has been focusing on creating scoring chances as it heads into the final three weeks of the regular season.
Strong defense, combined with a pair of winning streaks, has positioned the Celtics for a high seed in the coming Division I district tournament and has kept them in the OCC-Cardinal Division title race.
Jerome was 7-2-1 overall and 2-1-1 in the league before playing Hilliard Bradley on Sept. 24. The Celtics will visit the state's No. 3-ranked team, Olentangy Liberty, on Thursday, Sept. 26, before playing host to Coffman on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
"We had a strong start, but we're still trying to figure out how to stick to our playing style and finish our chances," coach Nate Maust said.
Jerome opened the season by winning its first three games and four of its first five, with a 1-all tie against Worthington Kilbourne on Aug. 27 also coming during that stretch.
Before playing Bradley, the Celtics were on another three-game winning streak that included back-to-back shutouts over Hilliard Darby (2-0 on Sept. 17) and Hilliard Davidson (1-0 on Sept. 19).
With seniors Jacsen Luthy and Connor Moser leading the defense and junior Nitin Sanga at goalkeeper, Jerome posted five shutouts in its first 10 games.
Junior Devin Howard had scored three goals and senior forwards Tyler Dring and Young Mu Lee each had two goals through 10 games.
"We will continue to develop into a confident team," Maust said. "Our cohesion and team chemistry will help get us there."
Field hockey team seeing progress
With three regular-season games remaining, the field hockey team still is hopeful it can surpass its seven-win total from a year ago.
The Celtics beat Bexley 1-0 on Sept. 23 and were 5-6 overall before facing Lancaster on Sept. 25. They are 3-4 in the COFHL-West Division heading into their game Monday, Sept. 30, at Liberty.
After losing to New Albany 5-1 on Sept. 9 and Olentangy Orange 2-0 on Sept. 11, Jerome responded with a 3-1 victory over Coffman on Sept. 16.
"The team has grown a lot so far this season," coach Cara Wolfgram Evans said.
"We had a stacked first half to our season, so we did not have a lot of practices before some of our toughest games. The players are working really well together and communicating on the field. I see our team continuing to grow and continuing to win games."
Senior forward Riley Morgan had two goals and junior midfielder Katelyn Root scored the other against Coffman.
According to Wolfgram Evans, Root has been leading the team's transition while senior forward Jane Goodstein, senior defenders Audrey Evans and Olivia Spencer and junior defensive midfielder Olivia Brooks have been other standouts.
"The team is working to develop a stronger attack," Wolfgram Evans said. "We've had so many missed opportunities at the goal this season so far. Our shot-to-goal ratio is what we're working on to improve."
Volleyball team puts together win streak
The girls volleyball team had won three matches in a row before playing Darby on Sept. 24.
The winning streak followed a four-match losing streak.
The Celtics were 7-9 overall and 5-5 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing the Panthers and will continue league play Thursday, Sept. 26, at home against Bradley.
Junior outside hitter Jaci Carpenter has been averaging 3.5 kills per set and had 19 kills overall in a 25-18, 25-14, 23-25, 25-20 league win over Thomas Worthington on Sept. 17.
Freshman Surabhi Srinivasan, who plays outside hitter and middle hitter, had 15 kills in a 25-18, 23-25, 25-13, 25-22 league loss to Worthington Kilbourne on Sept. 12.
Carpenter also has been leading the Celtics in digs, while Srinivasan, senior libero Kylie Carpenter and sophomore Caroline Zimovan have been among the team's other top defenders.
Freshman setter Brooke Carpenter leads Jerome in assists.
Below are the coming schedules for the Jerome cross country, field hockey, boys golf, girls golf, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Sept. 28 -- Bear Den Dash at Olentangy Berlin
*Sept. 30 -- At Olentangy Liberty
*Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Olentangy
Sept. 28 -- Jerome Honorary Invitational at Country Club at Muirfield Village
Oct. 1 -- Division I sectional at Denison Golf Club. Top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.
Oct. 1 -- Division I sectional at Royal American. Top three teams and top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district Oct. 8 at New Albany Links.
Sept. 26 -- At Liberty
Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Coffman
Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Coffman
Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Pickerington North
Oct. 2 -- At Columbus Academy
*Sept. 26 -- Home vs. Hilliard Bradley. The Celtics lost to the Jaguars 25-15, 25-11, 25-12 on Sept. 3.
Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Westerville Central