Girls Soccer Pioneers aim to build on first district title

SCOTT HENNEN
shennen@thisweeknews.com
Camryn Earl, a junior forward who scored seven goals last season, is expected to be among the top performers for Orange.

After winning the program's first Division I district title, the Olentangy Orange girls soccer team wants more. Fourth-year coach Tim Lawrence believes his squad has the potential to do that.

His roster includes 10 seniors determined to improve on last season, when the Pioneers finished 15-3-4 and won their second OCC-Buckeye Division title in three seasons.

"We lost three all-district players and an all-state performer, so we lost some key players, but we have a good core back," Lawrence said. "We have 10 seniors, and they're a good solid group. After last season, they want to keep things going."

Orange returns two senior defenders who missed most or all of last season with injury after starting as sophomores. Abby Sutley was sidelined with a knee injury and Liz Woo saw limited action because of an ankle injury.

Seniors Hailey Schwade and Lauren Shrader and junior Ava Musgrove (special mention all-league) help fill the back in front of senior goalie Amanda Poorbaugh, a Penn State recruit.

"Coach has been talking about playing our game," said Poorbaugh, who was second-team all-league and had 84 saves. "It's not so much about winning and losing as playing Orange soccer. We just have to get through the process and play our best soccer.

"It's definitely going to be an adjustment with the seniors that we lost. This year we have the potential to go as far as last year, and maybe even further."

Seniors Hannah Heald (4 goals, 2 assists), Maggie Lawrence and Morgan Scott (9 goals, 2 assists) and junior forward Camryn Earl (7 goals, 5 assists) will be top scoring threats at forward.

Juniors Abby Faulkner (honorable mention all-league; 2 goals, 3 assists), Secora Johnson (3 goals, 3 assists) and Maia Kaufman (second-team all-league; 8 goals, 4 assists) anchor the midfield. Senior Zoe Sucharski will play in the midfield and as a defender, and senior Madison Daniel is a midfielder and forward.

Also expecting to contribute are juniors Meghan Moser (defender), Quinn Shannon (forward) and Regan Yamasaki (forward/defender) and sophomores Kaitlyn Colvert (defender) and Kaelyn Valleau (forward/midfielder).

Orange opened by defeating Berlin 4-0 on Aug. 21 before tying Pickerington North at 1 on Aug. 25. It played Olentangy to a scoreless tie Sept. 1.

The Pioneers are in a realigned OCC-Central along with Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Bradley, Hilliard Davidson, Liberty and Upper Arlington. They begin their league schedule Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Davidson.

Experience abounds for Braves, Devanny

Ten returning starters, seven of whom are seniors, and 16 letterwinners guided Olentangy to a strong start after the Braves went 12-5-1 a year ago but lost 1-0 in a shootout to Bradley in a Division I district semifinal.

Olentangy was 3-0-1 before playing Watterson on Sept. 5.

"We hope to use this experience to navigate a very challenging schedule and a new (OCC) alignment," fourth-year coach Earl Devanny said. "We have a large number of players with experience. They're good teammates and we have good team speed."

Senior goalie Katie Scott returns, as do classmates Rachel Austin (forward), Kylee Beinecke (forward), Olivia Johnston (midfielder), Jordan Renzi (defender), Helena Ronnebaum (defender) and Carly Ross (midfielder), juniors Ashley Green (defender) and Hanna Schmidt (defender) and sophomore Audrey Oliver (midfielder).

Austin is a Youngstown State commit. Beinecke will play at Miami University and Ross has committed to Belmont.

The Braves opened Aug. 25 with a 4-3 home win over Grove City and followed with wins at Canal Winchester (3-2 on Aug. 27) and Sylvania Northview (5-1 on Aug. 29) before a scoreless tie at Orange on Sept. 1.

Rounding out the roster are senior Brooke Leonard (midfielder), juniors Karsten Bucci (defender), Lauren Hughes (midfielder), Jaime Rosales (forward) and Ella Schwartfager (goalie), sophomores Sydney Burrs (defender), Caroline Hennegan (midfielder), Olivia Heskett (midfielder), Katie MacDowell (defender), Erin McElroy (defender) and Lexi White (forward) and freshman Reagan Ross (midfielder).

Bucci was recovering from a torn ACL as the season began.

Olentangy begins OCC-Buckeye play Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Berlin.

--Dave Purpura

Patriots' offense leads to strong start

After winning six and five games, respectively, the last two seasons, Liberty is well on its way to surpassing those victory totals.

The Patriots have nine seniors, all of whom contributed last year when they went 5-9-4 and exited the postseason with a 1-0 shootout loss to Marysville in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

Liberty was 3-0-1 before facing DeSales on Sept. 5, including back-to-back 8-1 victories over Thomas Worthington (Aug. 21) and Pickerington Central (Aug. 25).

Now in the OCC-Central after previously competing in the OCC-Buckeye, the Patriots begin league action Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Dublin Coffman.

"We have a lot of upperclassmen on the team this year, which has provided a lot of leadership," third-year coach Hilary Carter said. "They've been part of a few seasons where we've been a little bit down, so there's definitely a hunger to change the trajectory we've been on. All of our seniors have really embraced their role as seniors."

The top returnees are senior defender Nora Gilger (first-team all-league) and senior midfielder Quinn Casey (second-team all-league).

The other seniors are Olivia Brinkman (midfielder), Rachel Davidson (forward), Lexi Gross (midfielder), Olivia McKain (midfielder), Divya Patel (midfielder), Audrey Petrucci (defender) and Victoria Susi (forward). The other senior on the roster is midfielder Sydney Rohl, but she is expected to miss the season with an injury.

Junior Alyssa Ruddock and sophomore Taylor Thomas are the goalies.

Junior midfielder Jazlyn Brooker and sophomore forward Jaimason Brooker are the sisters of former boys standout Jaggar Brooker, a 2020 graduate who is now playing at Ohio Wesleyan.

Others looking to contribute are juniors Ava Bertone (forward), Tessa Gilger (defender), Alex Hill (forward), Ava Niemeier (midfielder) and Sami Sincek (defender) and sophomore Cailin Bohrer (midfielder).

"(We've been) pleasantly (surprised with our offense)," Carter said. "We struggled mightily last year to find the back of the net, so it's been positive for us to find it as frequently as we have and with as many goal scorers as we've had."

--Jarrod Ulrey

Bears aim to replace standout senior class

In its third season, Berlin will field a lineup featuring the same limited varsity experience of its inaugural campaign.

The Bears lost nine players to graduation after finishing 10-7-1 overall and 4-2-1 in the OCC-Cardinal.

They return five starters in senior defender Ashley Kerekes, junior defender Lexie Syroka, sophomore forward Cameryn Susey (special mention all-league; 7 goals, 3 assists) and sophomore midfielders Roisin Kennedy and Claire Walker.

"We lost a lot of our team, so we're at the learning stage," third-year coach Tara Zimmer said. "We're getting to know how one another plays together.

"We're excited about this group. They're all eager to learn and the energy that they bring is great. They give us great effort. It's a whole new group we're building with."

Berlin has only four seniors in Kerekes, goalie Jessica Burchinal and forwards Abby Brennan and Lindsey Whitmore.

Burchinal takes over for 2020 graduate McKinley Hoffmann, who had 232 saves as a junior and 212 last season.

Brennan missed last season with a knee injury and junior forward Rileigh Glassburn also returns from a torn ACL.

"Cameryn Susey played a key role for us as a freshman up top, and we expect Abby Brennan and Rileigh Glassburn to bounce back from knee injuries," Zimmer said. "Lindsey Whitmore should also help us out."

Kennedy and Walker will be joined in the midfield by junior Avery Curtin and sophomore Ali de Gracia. Kerekes and Syroka will anchor the back along with sophomore Reese Hinkle and freshman Paige Aloi.

"We had a smaller roster last year, but now we have 20 people so we can pull from the bench," Zimmer said. "That allows us to keep people fresh."

Berlin was 2-2 before playing Newark on Sept. 3. The Bears opened with a 4-1 loss to Orange on Aug. 21 before defeating Licking Heights (9-1 on Aug. 25) and losing to Big Walnut (5-4 on Aug. 27). They defeated Groveport 8-0 on Sept. 1.

They open OCC-Cardinal play Tuesday, Sept. 15, at Olentangy.

--Scott Hennen

sports@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSports

At a glance

OLENTANGY BERLIN

*Coach: Tara Zimmer, third season

*Top players: Abby Brennan, Jessica Burchinal, Roisin Kennedy, Ashley Kerekes, Cameryn Susey, Lexie Syroka, Claire Walker and Lindsey Whitmore

*Key losses: Haley Cera, McKinley Hoffmann, Olivia Neidhardt, Ruth Pfeiffer, Aneesha Rockwell, Sydney Sainey, Cara Susey, Sydney Walker and Hannah Wilt

*Last season: 10-7-1 overall

*2019 OCC-Cardinal standings: Hilliard Bradley and Dublin Jerome (6-1), Berlin (4-2-1), Hilliard Darby (3-3-1), Dublin Scioto (2-5), Thomas Worthington (1-3-3), Delaware (1-4-2), Worthington Kilbourne (0-4-3)

*2019 postseason: Defeated Scioto 3-2; lost to New Albany 2-1 in Division I district semifinal

OLENTANGY LIBERTY

*Coach: Hillary Carter, third season

*Top players: Olivia Brinkman, Quinn Casey, Rachel Davidson, Nora Gilger, Lexi Gross, Olivia McKain, Divya Patel, Audrey Petrucci and Victoria Susi

*Key losses: Caitlin Crumode, Maddie Kelley, Elisa Koshan, Grace Linscott, Emma Lindsey, Addi Moeller and Abigail Towne

*Last season: 5-9-4 overall

*2019 OCC-Buckeye standings: Orange (5-0), Olentangy (4-1), Westerville North (3-2), Liberty (2-3), Westerville Central (1-4), Westerville South (0-5)

*2019 postseason: Def. Marion Harding 10-0; lost to Marysville 1-0 (shootout) in second round of Division I district tournament

OLENTANGY

*Coach: Earl Devanny, fourth season

*Top players: Rachel Austin, Kylee Beinecke, Carly Ross and Katie Scott

*Key losses: Bailey Hall, Madeline Hall, Priya Hudson and Kayla Primm

*Last season: 12-5-1 overall

*2019 OCC-Buckeye standings: Orange (5-0), Olentangy (4-1), North (3-2), Liberty (2-3), Central (1-4), South (0-5)

*2019 postseason: Def. DeSales 7-0; lost to Hilliard Bradley 1-0 (3-2 shootout) in Division I district semifinal

OLENTANGY ORANGE

*Coach: Tim Lawrence, fourth season

*Top players: Camryn Earl, Abby Faulkner, Hannah Heald, Secora Johnson, Maia Kaufman, Ava Musgrove, Amanda Poorbaugh, Morgan Scott and Liz Woo

*Key losses: Cierra Clemons, Samantha Fedio, Keeley Galloway, Payton Kaufman, Sophia Leonetti, Addie Masters and Grace Poorbaugh

*Last season: 15-3-4 overall

*2019 OCC-Buckeye standings: Orange (5-0), Olentangy (4-1), North (3-2), Liberty (2-3), Central (1-4), South (0-5)

*2019 postseason: Def. Northland 9-0; def. Watkins Memorial 3-1; def. Big Walnut 4-1; def. Watterson 2-0; def. Marysville 3-0; lost to Dublin Coffman 3-2 (2OT) in Division I regional final

Senior midfielder Carly Ross, a Belmont recruit, is one of 10 returning starters for Olentangy and fourth-year coach Earl Devanny.