Notebook: Seniors set foundation for Westerville North girls soccer program

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Junior defender August Weise (left) and the North girls soccer team saw their season end Oct. 24 with a 2-1 loss to Big Walnut in the second round of the Division I district tournament. The Warriors finished 10-7-1.

The Westerville North girls soccer team fell short of defending its Division I district championship, but its five-player senior class leaves the program with an impressive résumé.

The Warriors had back-to-back seasons with 10-plus victories and helped to lay the groundwork for continued success.

North, the 11th seed, lost 2-1 to 22nd-seeded Big Walnut on Oct. 24 in the second round of the Division I district tournament to finish 10-7-1 overall. 

Last fall, the Warriors finished 15-4-1 after falling to Dublin Coffman 3-0 in a regional semifinal following their first district title since 2007.

“This senior class has set the standard for the program for the future,” said first-year coach Jason McLead, whose team tied Worthington Kilbourne for second (5-2) in the OCC-Capital Division behind Delaware (7-0). “Overall, I’m pleased with the season, but injuries just caught up with us in the end. The girls worked hard and came together as a team in spite of all the chaos with (the) COVID(-19 coronavirus pandemic) and the school schedule.

“It takes a special senior class to be able to provide leadership when we lived through this season on a razor’s edge, not knowing if the whole thing could be shut down at any time. The sacrifices and leadership that these seniors exhibited allowed for our team to successfully complete the season with zero COVID cases.”

Senior midfielder Makayla Parry (first-team all-league) scored a team-leading 17 goals. Midfielder Cat Adams, defender Allie Bolen (honorable mention all-league), defensive midfielder Isa Mercurio and goalie Maggie Moc rounded out the senior class.

Junior forward Chloe Robertson (first-team all-league) will be the top offensive threat expected back after scoring 14 goals. 

Juniors Lilia Monzalvo (defender), Patricia Moore (defender) and Alison Rothmann (midfielder) were all-second-team all-league, and junior midfielder Sophie Bordron was special mention all-league.

Juniors Jolie Helt (defender), Zoey Ward (midfielder) and August Weise (defender), sophomores Cori Bohan (midfielder) and Gaby Mercurio (goalie) and freshman forward Josie Gruber also are expected to return.

Coach Wynleux Henderson and the South boys soccer team finished 11-4-2 with a 4-2 loss to Central on Oct. 22 in the second round of the Division I district tournament.

•After going 2-12-3 last season, the South boys soccer team rebounded to finish 11-4-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the OCC-Capital.

After an opening-round bye in the Division I district tournament, the ninth-seeded Wildcats lost 4-2 to 16th-seeded Westerville Central in the second round Oct. 22 at home.

“It (stinks) that the season has to end that way against a rival school,” coach Wynleux Henderson said. “When you play the better soccer and don’t get the result, it’s hard. But looking at the entirety of our season, going from not knowing if we were going to have a season to everything that they were able to accomplish this year ... hopefully everyone left our locker room with their heads held high and we’ll always remember this season in a positive light.”

Key players expected to return include juniors Caden Carfagna (defender), Ethan Gary (goalie), Henry Hutchinson (midfielder) and Jackson Miller (defender) and sophomores Sayed Ahmed (defender), Landon Beckwith (forward), Jonathan Cheruiyot (defender), Avery Parker (midfielder) and Aiden Sutherland (defender/forward).

Others eligible to return are juniors Daniel Kahssai (defender) and Jason Karanja (midfielder), sophomore Nikita Kitaev (midfielder) and freshmen Samuel Agyemang (forward), Raul Diaz (defender) and Cheick Tounkara (forward).

—Frank DiRenna

•The North boys soccer team lost 3-0 at fifth-seeded Olentangy Berlin on Oct. 27 in a Division I district semifinal.

The 23rd-seeded Warriors had seven shots on goal and finished 7-4-6.  It was North’s first district-semifinal appearance since 2015 when it defeated Pickerington Central 2-0 before losing 2-0 to Coffman in a district final.

After a first-round bye, North defeated Whitehall 1-0 on Oct. 24 as Drew Cooper scored.

—Scott Hennen

•The South girls volleyball team finished 8-13 overall under second-year coach Haley Adams after going 5-17 last season.

The Wildcats went 5-9 in the OCC-Capital.

“This year was awesome,” Adams said. “The team chemistry was great. They were just an awesome group of girls, so it was a good year.”

Key players expected back include junior Hannah Pestorius (middle blocker), sophomores Lauryn Bowie (outside hitter/right-side hitter) and Nelia Guice (outside hitter/opposite hitter) and freshman Aurelia Ledbetter (middle blocker).

Others eligible to return are juniors Yaretzi Centeno (defensive specialist), Brenda Light (setter), Colleen Morrison (right-side hitter/outside hitter) and Maggie Yost (setter) and sophomores Gia Golden (outside hitter/opposite hitter) and Leila Jones (opposite hitter/outside hitter/setter).

—Frank DiRenna

•The Central girls soccer team saw its season end with a 2-1 overtime loss at 15th-seeded Worthington Kilbourne in the second round of the Division I district tournament Oct. 24.

Senior Margaret Owsiany scored for Central off a corner kick from classmate Lauryn White for a 1-0 lead

The 23rd-seeded Warhawks, who had an opening-round bye, finished 5-10-1 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Ohio.

Juniors expected back are Ashley Carson (forward/midfielder), Rebekah Fannin (defender), Taylor Hickman (defender/goalie), Dylan Lewis (defender/midfielder) and Megan Schimmel (forward).

Also eligible to return are sophomores Kyndall Bell (forward), Taylor Himmelreich (defender), Natalie Koenig (defender/midfielder), Rylee Mensel (forward/midfielder), Kassie Myers (defender/midfielder) and Elena Summanen (goalie) and freshmen Alessandra Boo (forward/midfielder) and Avery Vukmanic (goalie).

—Frank DiRenna

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SOUTH BOYS SOCCER

Record: 11-4-2 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Dublin Scioto (5-0-2), Worthington Kilbourne (5-2), Westerville South (4-2-1), Westerville North and Big Walnut (both 3-2-2), Canal Winchester (1-4-2), Franklin Heights (1-5), Delaware (0-5-1)

Seniors lost: Solomon Jumu, Nkhondo Lungu, Nick Lovell, Tate Marcelain, Milo McNabb, Isaac Smith, Thomas Stathulis and Donovan Urquilla

Key returnees: Caden Carfagna, Ethan Gary, Henry Hutchinson and Jackson Miller

Postseason: Lost to Westerville Central 4-2 in second round of Division I district tournament

CENTRAL GIRLS SOCCER

Record: 5-10-1 overall

OCC-Ohio standings: New Albany (5-0), Pickerington North (4-1), Westerville Central (3-2), Grove City (2-3), Gahanna (1-4), Westland (0-5) 

Seniors lost: Nina Domanik, Ella Fortin, Erin Hunley, Kaycee Johnston, Margaret Owsiany and Lauryn White

Key returnees: Natalie Koenig, Megan Schimmel and Elena Summanen

Postseason: Lost to Kilbourne 2-1 (OT) in second round of Division I district tournament

NORTH GIRLS SOCCER

Record: 10-7-1 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Delaware (7-0), North and Kilbourne (both 5-2), Scioto (4-2-1), Big Walnut (3-4), Canal Winchester (2-4-1), Franklin Heights (1-6), South (0-7)

Seniors lost: Cat Adams, Allie Bolen, Isa Mercurio, Maggie Moc and Makayla Parry

Key returnees: Cori Bohan, Sophie Bordron, Josie Gruber, Jolie Helt, Gaby Mercurio, Lilia Monzalvo, Patricia Moore, Chloe Robertson, Alison Rothmann and Zoey Ward

Postseason: Defeated Reynoldsburg 2-0; lost to Big Walnut 2-1 in second round of Division I district tournament

SOUTH GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Record: 8-13 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Scioto (14-0), Kilbourne (11-3), Delaware (10-4), Big Walnut (9-5), Canal Winchester and South (both 5-9), North (2-12), Franklin Heights (0-14)

Seniors lost: Sophia Polo and Micah Wyckoff

Key returnees: Lauryn Bowie, Nelia Guice, Aurelia Ledbetter and Hannah Pestorius

Postseason: Lost to Gahanna 25-23, 25-12, 25-17 in first round of Division I district tournament