Girls Soccer: Rebuilt Dublin Coffman hasn’t taken step back

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Coffman's Norah Roush (right) battles New Albany's Bella Haas during a game earlier this season as Bella Paoletti looks on. The Shamrocks, despite graduating several key players after reaching a Division I state semifinal, are having another strong season.

During its run to a Division I state semifinal last season, the Dublin Coffman girls soccer team could count on leaders such as Simone Rivard-Roberts and Kinsey Crabtree on the offensive end and for Emma Barthel to do much of the ball-control work in the middle of the field.

The success the Shamrocks have continued to have this fall despite losing that trio, as well as two other key players, to graduation has been what senior forward Addie Vaccari considers a pleasant surprise.

“Honestly we were all confused we were doing so well at first just because we were so used to last year when we had Emma Barthel winning everything (in the midfield) and Simone and Kinsey were strong up top with me,” Vaccari said. “It’s been kind of different since we lost some main players from last year, so we just came in with the attitude that if we work hard and start communicating and build each other up that we can be just as good as last year.”

Coffman, which was ranked third in last week’s Division I area poll and 15th in the state poll, tied Upper Arlington 1 on Oct. 6 to move to 9-1-3 overall and 2-0-2 in the OCC-Central Division. The Shamrocks closed their league schedule Oct. 13 at Hilliard Bradley.

The district tournament drawing was Oct. 11.

Coffman shut out its first four postseason opponents last season and has much of the same group in the back, including senior goalie Olivia Alford, senior defender Amanda Bailey and sophomore defender Kacey Collier.

Vaccari, who had 15 goals and 10 assists last season, had scored nine goals through 13 games to lead a more balanced offensive approach after Rivard-Roberts scored 20 goals a year ago.

Senior forward Catherine Zugaro, who missed the second half of last season, scored nine goals through the first 11 games but sustained a season-ending knee injury in a 4-0 win over Jerome on Sept. 29.

“The people that have stepped in have all done a good job and are working hard,” Vaccari said. “That’s how we’re being successful on the field. We score most of our goals on end-line crosses through and have a couple on penalty kicks. We’re doing well at getting to our through balls and knowing how each other plays.

“The only thing that’s really changed for me is my leadership because I didn’t have to lead last year since we had Simone and Kinsey, and I have to help fill that role this year.”

Junior Norah Roush, according to Vaccari, has been among the team’s vocal leaders at midfielder alongside sophomore Bella Paoletti.

While senior forward Taylor Duff also has missed time with an injury, junior midfielder Julia Flynn had contributed seven goals through 13 games.

“When you transition away from people that have been starting for four years and you plug in new players that have new responsibilities, to be fair they’ve done a good job and haven’t had much time to transition in,” coach Costa Kalorides said. “From that perspective, things have flowed together pretty well. You didn’t have any scrimmages and the preseason was kind of limited, so we’re kind of learning on the fly and getting involved as a team on the fly. They’ve been taking advantage of their opportunities. We’ve had the same back line as last year and they’ve done just as good of a job.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com

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