An early season formation change helped the Grandview Heights girls soccer team find its rhythm.
Despite starting 3-1, first-year coach Bre Dominach knew the Bobcats needed a boost in the midfield, so she scrapped a 4-4-2 scheme for a 3-5-2 entering an MSL-Ohio Division contest against Columbus Academy on Sept. 4.
While the Bobcats lost that game 2-1, they had not lost in a 10-game stretch entering their final league contest against Worthington Christian on Oct. 9. The only blemish in that span was a 2-all tie against Fairbanks on Sept. 16.
"We changed our formation and our plan of attack to solidify our center-(midfielders)," said Dominach, whose team was 12-2-1 overall and 6-1 in the league before playing Worthington Christian. "We're finding our roles and how to best contribute as a group and not so much as individuals."
Junior center-midfielder Lindsey Bertani said the switch made Grandview better on the defensive end.
"We started with a 4-4-2 lineup with only two center-mids and we switched to a 3-5-2 and that has helped us tremendously," Bertani said. "We had been slacking defensively in the center because we had been down a player because a lot of teams play with three center-mids. Now that we have more up in the center we're able to get the ball to the center and find a switch to our outside players. We weren't able to find that before because we were always marked in the center."
Senior goalkeeper Addi Holcomb is the first to admit the change has made her job a little easier. Before playing John Glenn, the Bobcats had surrendered just five goals in the nine-game stretch, and they also had five shutouts in that span.
"We have a really strong defensive line, and they have held down a lot of shots," Holcomb said. "We have a new formation with a lot of defensive-mids (and that) really helps. They make my job easier with the balls they stop."
Junior forward Tia Thomas said the team has great chemistry, which also has contributed to its success.
"We're a lot closer on the field and that translates into better play on the field," she said.
The Bobcats are the top seed for the Division III district tournament and are aiming for their third consecutive district title. They open in the second round Oct. 19 against eighth-seeded Ready or ninth-seeded Fisher Catholic.
Holcomb said Dominach has stressed team bonding.
"We have done a lot more this year as a group," Holcomb said. "I think her approach is to make us stronger outside the field so when we step on the field we can play as a unit."
Football team looks to snap two-game skid
The football team hopes to break a two-game skid when it plays host to winless Liberty Union on Friday, Oct. 11, in an MSL-Ohio contest.
The Lions dropped to 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the league after losing to Whitehall 20-14 on Oct. 4. Quarterback Kobe Barnett rushed for 118 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries and was 2-for-7 passing for 51 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown to Cayden Carroll.
The Bobcats dropped to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the MSL-Ohio after losing at Harvest Prep 42-7 on Oct. 4. Darreion Davis rushed for 80 yards on 18 carries and Kyle Casey connected with Luke Lachey for an 8-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
"(The Warriors) are a running team, and they came out and ran the ball," coach Jason Peters, said. "We just have to get better."
Golfers end season at district tourney
Junior Brendan Cleary shot an 84 to tie four players for 14th of 75 golfers in the Division III boys district tournament Oct. 2 at Darby Creek.
Medalist Drew Salyers (69) of East Knox was the individual state qualifier and champion Wellington (314) was the team state qualifier.
Freshman Colin Cleary shot an 87 to tie three players for 20th.
There were no sectional tournaments in Division III this season because there were not at least 14 teams in the Central District with four or more players.
The Bobcats, who were led by 12th-year coach Kevin Richards, didn't have enough golfers for a team score in the three rounds of the MSL-Ohio tournament.
Tennis team ends season at sectional
The girls tennis team saw its season end Oct. 3 in a Division II sectional at Academy.
The doubles teams of senior Marissa Tosi and junior Dylan Dobbs-Euans and senior Ava Rehbeck and junior Kate Kukura both went 1-1. Senior Liz McDermott went 1-1 in singles.
Seniors Taylor Fultz and Kayla Ward lost their postseason openers in singles.
The Bobcats were led by seventh-year coach Kathy Kinnard. They finished 7-8 overall and seventh (1-6) in the MSL-Ohio behind champion Academy (7-0).
Below are the coming schedules for the Grandview cross country, boys soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 12 -- MSL-Ohio meet at Buckeye Valley
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Centennial
Oct. 21 -- Home vs. 17th-seeded Marion Pleasant or 20th-seeded Harvest Prep in second round of Division III district tournament. The Bobcats are seeded fourth.
*Oct. 10 -- At Columbus School for Girls. The Bobcats defeated the Unicorns 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 on Sept. 17.
Oct. 15 -- At fourth-seeded Northridge in first round of Division III district tournament. The Bobcats are seeded 12th.