Worthington Christian Roundup: Boys soccer squad set up for success
Following back-to-back Division III district runner-up finishes, the Worthington Christian boys soccer team isn't backing down from its typical high expectations.
Helping to make that easier is the attitude 13th-year coach Dan Roads has seen from his players when they've not been on the field.
"We got turf (at Worthington Christian) literally (Aug. 20), so (our opening game Aug. 21 at Watterson) was our first time in full 11s," Roads said. "We had a lot of variables to overcome and we were really mature in how to handle them. I think we're really strong. We have really good leadership and it's one of the best teams we've had in terms of chemistry. All of the guys are feeling the anxiety of being a pretty strong team that's learned all the lessons from the past."
The Warriors, who went 13-2-4 overall last season and shared the MSL-Ohio Division title with eventual state champion Wellington at 4-0-2, started this year 2-0-1.
The top players are senior forward Tyler Kindberg, who was first-team all-league last season, and senior midfielders Trent Wenger and Levi Yoder, who were second-team all-league.
Senior goalie Ethan Kraynak is another key returnee.
Junior forward Cam Broadfoot, who was only eligible for the first half of last season after transferring from Delaware Christian, scored two goals in a 3-1 win over Watterson.
Seniors Will Cain, Scott Ruane and Zach Thomas are returnees who lead the defense.
Rounding out the senior class are Tommy Rettstatt (midfielder) and Noah St. John (defender).
Juniors Tommy Anthony (forward), Caleb Denorme (goalie), Kael Oosterbahn (midfielder) and Grant Woodfin (defender) and sophomore Matthew Yoder (forward) also are returnees.
Others on the team are juniors Adam Dunson (defender), Eli Hoskinson (midfielder) and Caleb Stults (midfielder) and sophomores Will Garinger (goalie), Luke Stimpson (midfielder) and Jaedon Thomas (defender).
Girls soccer team preps for move up
After a district runner-up finish in 2018 and reaching a district semifinal last fall, competing both seasons in Division III, the girls soccer team has moved to Division II.
The next few weeks are about preparing for what fifth-year coach Steve Raikes expects to be more difficult competition when the postseason arrives.
"My hopes are we get in a full season," Raikes said. "I didn't have a ton of expectations coming in this year, but as we quickly move along into the season, if they continue to jell as a group, we should be competitive in most of our games. Our league will be tough as usual, so that will bring a good challenge each week, and moving to Division II just adds another new dynamic come tournament time."
Worthington Christian, which went 11-5-3 last season, was 2-0-2 after opening MSL-Ohio action Sept. 2 with a 2-all tie against Wellington.
Seniors Alex Friedman (goalie), Riley Myers (forward) and Emma Sanders (defender) and juniors Keaton Cox (defender) and Paige Tomallo (forward) are the top returnees.
Last season, Myers had 18 goals and was first-team all-league. Sanders was second-team all-league and Friedman, Cox and Tomallo all were honorable mention all-league.
Freshman midfielder Sofia Divine also is an impact player, according to Raikes.
The other seniors are Erin Davison (forward), Faith Kray (midfielder), Maya Kurzenknabe (midfielder) and Elia Raikes (defender).
Rounding out the junior class are Izzy Hartings (defender), Blessing King (defender), Hope Kray (midfielder), Grace Hall (defender), Elise Mast (defender) and Abbey Windsor (midfielder).
Others looking to contribute are sophomores Kaitlyn Fields (forward), Maria Klausman (defender), Audrey Meadows (midfielder), Sophie Schuler (midfielder) and Amelia Wilson (goalie).
"I feel like we've gotten off to a solid start," coach Raikes said. "Playing on our new turf was exciting, but it will challenge the girls to focus on being accurate with their passes. We're not in good shape, but the faster game on turf should help that over time."
At a glance
*Coach: Dan Roads, 13th season
*Top players: Cam Broadfoot, Will Cain, Tyler Kindberg, Ethan Kraynak, Scott Ruane, Zach Thomas, Trent Wenger and Levi Yoder
*Key losses: Bryce Lawrence, Jeremy Owusu-Sarfo, Jodi Owusu-Sarfo and David Rettstatt
*Last season: 13-2-4 overall
*2019 MSL-Ohio standings: Wellington and Worthington Christian (both 4-0-2), Columbus Academy (2-1-3), Grandview (2-3-1), Whitehall (1-2-3), Bexley (1-3-2), Buckeye Valley (0-5-1)
*2019 postseason: Defeated Granville Christian 9-0; def. Amanda-Clearcreek 5-1; lost to Grandview 5-1 in Division III district final
*Coach: Steve Raikes, fifth season
*Top players: Keaton Cox, Sofia Divine, Alex Friedman, Riley Myers, Emma Sanders and Paige Tomallo
*Key losses: Lillia Bishop, Mianna Hartings, Hannah Schuler, Maddie Skidmore and Eliana Styer
*Last season: 11-5-3 overall
*2019 MSL-Ohio standings: Academy (8-0), Bexley and Grandview (6-2), Buckeye Valley and Worthington Christian (4-3-1), Zanesville Rosecrans (2-4-2), Columbus School for Girls and Wellington (2-6), Whitehall (0-8)
*2019 postseason: Def. Madison Plains 6-0; def. Johnstown 6-1; lost to Grandview 3-0 in Division III district semifinal