Field Hockey: Dublin Jerome hoping to build on strong 2019

JARROD ULREY
julrey@thisweeknews.com
Senior midfielder Vanessa Ruck (left) is among the top returnees for the Jerome field hockey team and third-year coach Cara Wolfgram Evans.

With a 3-0 victory over Dublin Coffman in the second round of last season's district tournament, the Dublin Jerome field hockey team improved by two wins from the previous year and clinched its first winning record since 2013.

The Celtics hope their start to this season is an indication that the upward trends will continue.

Jerome was 3-1-1 overall after beating Granville 3-2 on Sept. 8 and before playing Columbus School for Girls on Sept. 16.

The Celtics are 1-1-1 in the Central Ohio High School Field Hockey League-West Division after finishing sixth (3-4-1) behind champion Thomas Worthington (8-0) last season. They opened league action by tying Olentangy Orange at 1 on Aug. 24, beat Scioto 2-0 on Aug. 26 and lost to Thomas 8-0 on Aug. 31.

"Things have been going really well so far this year," third-year coach Cara Wolfgram Evans said. "We have 10 seniors on the team and the majority of these girls have been playing together for seven to eight years. This group of seniors is so talented and I know we're going to have an amazing season. My hopes for this season is to have an even better record than we had last year. Another goal for this season is to dominate our passing game and continue to build on our on-field communication."

Midfielder Katelyn Root, who was second-team all-league last season, leads the senior class, which also features Olivia Brooks (defensive midfielder), Keely McClure (midfielder), Vanessa Ruck (midfielder) and Hailey Watson (attacker).

Senior midfielder Catherine Berniger, junior attacker Sarah Bell and McClure scored against Granville.

Freshman Sydney Krasniewski is at goalie.

Seniors Janelle Emmett and Maeve Gallagher and sophomore Rhyan Rish lead the defense.

Others on the team are seniors Katherine Bell (midfielder) and Madison Plummer (attacker), juniors Kennedy Faller (midfielder) and Abigail Hodge (defender), sophomore Alana Wilson (goalie) and freshman Clare Page (midfielder).

"The team and I feel very fortunate to be playing right now in the midst of this pandemic," Wolfgram Evans said. "As a team, we've decided to take every game and practice we can play as a blessing and will continue to work hard and enjoy every minute we get."

Shamrocks looking for faster starts

In each of its first four games, Coffman gave up a goal during the first 10 minutes.

The slow starts have provided Emily Goliver with teachable moments during her first season as coach.

"I'd like to see some improvement on our intensity to start the game," Goliver said. "I'd like to see us start playing with the same level of intensity that we've been playing with by the second half to start.

"As for the rest of the season, I feel really positive. Our team has very strong fundamental skills, so I think if we can keep that up and continue to grow with each game, we'll do well this season."

Coffman was 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the COFHL-West before playing Upper Arlington on Sept. 14 and Olentangy Liberty on Sept. 16.

The Shamrocks also struggled to begin last season but followed a 0-7-1 start by finishing 6-10-1 under former coach Jeff Goliver, who is Emily's father. He led the program for two seasons.

Emily Goliver is a 2015 Coffman graduate who went on to play goalie for Miami University's club team. She served as an assistant with the Shamrocks last season.

Coffman lost 14 players to graduation, including honorable mention all-league honoree Mia Citino on defense and its top three scorers in Emma Kruse (12 points), Ava Scott (7 points) and Xiaocai Way (6 points).

Seniors Ellie Esterer (defender), Abbey Harpster (midfielder) and Becca Saucier (defender), junior Caroline Koehler (defender) and sophomores Molly Blankenhorn (midfielder) and Lily Wesp (midfielder) are the top returnees.

The other seniors are Leah Finley, who starts at goalie, Lauren Marxen (forward) and Ella Taylor (forward).

Junior Hannah Brooks (forward) and sophomore Tess Blankenhorn (goalie) also are returnees, and junior Reese McIntyre (midfielder) is another key player.

Others looking to contribute include juniors Bridget Karaba (forward) and Molly Nowak (forward), sophomore Molly Savage (forward) and freshmen Izzy Fry (midfielder), Sam Humphrey (goalie) and Faye Mossman (defender).

--Jarrod Ulrey

Irish looking for improvement

Scioto is hoping to improve on last season's finish of 2-15 overall and 1-7 in the COFHL-West.

"When I first came here it was the thought that would field hockey even be (a sport) at Dublin Scioto," said coach Megan Kinnison, who is in her fourth season.

"It's nice to see that it is growing. Some years it may grow a little faster than others, but I definitely see an upward tick for sure."

The Irish earned their first win of the season Aug. 31, defeating Hartley 1-0 on a goal by junior midfielder Holland Bell, an Ohio State commit.

Sophomore Michelle Hernandez has taken over in goal for senior Christina Redfox, who transferred.

"Michelle is really good," Kinnison said. "She's been more aggressive and is taking to the starting spot very well."

Kayanaat Chaudhry (forward) and Fizza Khalid (defender) are the only seniors on the team. Both are returnees.

Chaudhry scored in a 3-1 loss to CSG on Sept. 3.

The Irish were 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the COFHL-West before playing Thomas on Sept. 16.

Also back are juniors Mafaz Fazzari (midfielder), Kimberly Markram (midfielder), Stephanie Speidel (defender) and Latai Tonga (midfielder) and sophomore Diana Pablo (midfielder/forward).

Other players are juniors Aya Bouiri (forward) and Yana Patel (forward), sophomores Rafiah Minna (midfielder/defender/forward), Krisha Patel (defender) and Krishna Patel (midfielder/forward) and freshmen Andrea Gasca (goalie) and Jennifer Speidel (forward).

--Frank DiRenna

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At a glance

DUBLIN COFFMAN

*Coach: Emily Goliver, first season

*Top players: Molly Blankenhorn, Hannah Brooks, Ellie Esterer, Abbey Harpster, Caroline Koehler, Becca Saucier, Ella Taylor and Lily Wesp

*Key losses: Mia Citino, Reese Collins, Lydia Koehler, Emma Kruse, Ava Scott and Xiaocai Way

*Last season: 6-10-1 overall

*2019 COFHL-West standings: Thomas Worthington (8-0), Olentangy Liberty (6-2), Olentangy Orange (6-2), Upper Arlington (5-2-1), Olentangy (3-3-2), Jerome (3-4-1), Coffman (2-6), Scioto (1-7), Olentangy Berlin (0-8)

*2019 postseason: Lost to Jerome 3-0 in second round of district tournament

DUBLIN JEROME

*Coach: Cara Wolfgram Evans, third season

*Top players: Sarah Bell, Olivia Brooks, Maeve Gallagher, Keely McClure, Rhyan Rish, Katelyn Root, Vanessa Ruck and Hailey Watson

*Key losses: Deena Ayshi, Audrey Evans, Jane Goodstein, Iman Metzger, Riley Morgan, Lauren Murray, Ashtha Singh, Olivia Spencer and Yuna Takahashi

*Last season: 9-8-1 overall

*2019 COFHL-West standings: Thomas (8-0), Liberty (6-2), Orange (6-2), UA (5-2-1), Olentangy (3-3-2), Jerome (3-4-1), Coffman (2-6), Scioto (1-7), Berlin (0-8)

*2019 postseason: Defeated Coffman 3-0; lost to Thomas 8-0 in district semifinal

DUBLIN SCIOTO

*Coach: Megan Kinnison, fourth season

*Top players: Holland Bell and Michelle Hernandez

*Key losses: Christina Redfox and Michelle Zavala

*Last season: 2-15 overall

*2019 COFHL-West standings: Thomas (8-0), Liberty (6-2), Orange (6-2), UA (5-2-1), Olentangy (3-3-2), Jerome (3-4-1), Coffman (2-6), Scioto (1-7), Berlin (0-8)

*2019 postseason: Lost to Thomas 9-0 in second round of district tournament

Senior defender Ellie Esterer is among the top returnees for the Coffman field hockey team and first-year coach Emily Goliver.