In what has been an up-and-down season, the Westland boys soccer team will look to head into the Division I district tournament on a positive note.
The Cougars play host to Central Crossing on Thursday, Oct. 10, in an OCC-Central Division game, hoping to continue their recent success against the Comets.
Westland is 7-0-2 in the last nine meetings. The teams played to a 1-all ties in 2015 and 2010, and Central Crossing hasn't won the matchup since 2008 (3-1).
"It's senior night, plus it's Central Crossing," coach Jamie Dato said. "All the kids know each other. It's more fun for them. The good kids on Westland and the good kids on (Central) Crossing maybe played some club ball and maybe played with each other. It's knowing each other and having fun with it."
Senior midfielder Abraham Perez is hoping his class remains perfect against the Comets.
"We have not lost to them all three years," he said. "The seniors don't want that streak to end. This is our last game (in the series) for 10 seniors and we have to play hard and continue the streak."
Westland was 4-8-1 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Central before playing Hilliard Davidson on Oct. 3. The Wildcats led the league at 3-0.
The Cougars also visit Watkins Memorial on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The district draw is Sunday, Oct. 6, and the tournament begins Oct. 15.
"We have a couple of winnable games (this) week," Dato said. "We hope to knock in at least two more wins and then depending on how the (tournament) draw goes maybe get another winnable game in the first round. If we get three more wins this year that would give us seven on the year. I thought at the beginning of the year we'd have seven or eight wins."
Through 13 games, Perez led the team in scoring with six goals and two assists. Mohamed Suleiman had six goals and an assist, and Jeremy Canchola and Bawi Lian each had five goals and an assist.
Goalkeeper Trent Beach had 42 saves.
"We've been working on ball security and rebounds (with Beach)," Dato said. "We've had some goaltending training the last couple of weeks. I've seen his play improve. I've seen his ability pick up a little bit over the last couple of weeks."
Westland lost at Columbus Academy 4-1 on Oct. 1, a game in which Dato said his team had scoring chances.
"We played pretty well," Dato said. "We actually played a lot better in the second half. We scored the one goal and we got more shots. I wasn't displeased with how we played."
Suleiman scored for Westland and Beach had six saves.
"Mohamad was very active, which is good," Dato said.
The Cougars defeated Franklin Heights 7-0 on Sept. 26 and Teays Valley 2-1 on Sept. 28.
"We're getting better," Dato said. "Two and a half weeks ago our effort was horrible. That was the big thing we've been preaching. The last couple of games we've had really good effort. The biggest thing is our skill level is not up to par with some other teams."
Football team to visit Marysville
The football team is looking for improved play as it continues the second half of the season.
The Cougars, who were 1-4 before opening OCC-Central play Oct. 4 against Upper Arlington, visit Marysville on Friday, Oct. 11.
"We have to get better every day," coach Rick Rios said. "We have to continue to get better as the season goes on."
The Monarchs were 4-1 before kicking off league play Oct. 4 against Dublin Coffman.
Westland lost at Olentangy Orange 52-0 on Sept. 27.
The Cougars were outgained 403-113. Buddy Workman completed 10 of 15 passes for 73 yards and one interception, and Peterson Iresne rushed for 41 yards on 16 carries.
Trailing 9-0 after one quarter, the Cougars were outscored 30-0 in the second quarter.
"We're just running into issues where there have been too many injuries that we're trying to overcome," Rios said. "We're too young to be competing with some of these teams right now. We have a bunch of sophomore playing now."
Marysville defeated Big Walnut 38-10 on Sept. 27. Ryan Kern rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, Nathan Morey passed for 95 yards and a touchdown and Marysville had a 366-165 advantage in total yards.
"I've seen Marysville on film," Rios said. "They are big and physical and as active as I've seen since I've been here. They have a nice squad."
Boys golf team closes season
The boys golf team closed its season by competing in a Division I sectional Oct. 1 at Denison Golf Club.
The Cougars did not have enough players for a team score.
Junior Sam Stutz led Westland with a 107, senior Cory Daugherty shot 113 and junior Jaeven Eckles shot 143.
Juniors Brandon Fernandez and Aiden Lilly and freshmen Saawan Patel and Tre Shepherd also are eligible to return.
"I enjoyed the year," coach Brad Kramer said. "The kids were fine. The kids are really nice and respectful. Everything was fine, but towards the end they have to make sure they're doing the right things in the classroom (and) make sure you're getting the grades."
Westland went 0-20 in the OCC-Central to finish sixth behind champion UA (19-1).
Daugherty led the Cougars with a 101.75 average in league play.
"There were a few kids who progressed a lot more than the other ones," Kramer said. "I saw a lot more potential out of some of the younger ones. Sam Stutz played really well (at sectional). He's improving a lot."
Westland loses Daugherty and Alexander Nordlund to graduation.
"Alex was phenomenal," Kramer said. "He's a great kid. He showed the other kids how to present themselves. He's never played golf before yet he blended in really well because of his attitude and his respect for other kids."
Below are the coming schedules for the Westland cross country, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- OCC-Central meet at Hilliard Davidson
*Oct. 10 -- At Central Crossing
Oct. 3, 5 -- Competed in Division I sectional at Upper Arlington. The top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to district Oct. 10 and 12 at Reynoldsburg.
Oct. 9 -- At Hamilton Township
*Oct. 10 -- At Central Crossing. The Cougars lost to the Comets 26-24, 25-17, 25-19 on Sept. 17.