October 1, 2014

Elyria
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66°F
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High school girls soccer 2011: Breaking down the season


TEAM CAPSULES

NORTHEAST OHIO CONFERENCE

Elyria Pioneers

COACH: Venera Ilievski, 6th year

2010 RECORD: 6-9-0, 3-2-0

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Bailey Andress, sr., GK; Cheyenne Gutierrez, sr., F; Kaleigh Plato, sr., D; Haylie Davis, jr., D, Monica Banks, jr., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: Andress, an all-conference and All-Lorain County goalkeeper, allowed just 24 goals while making 178 saves as a junior. Elyria has an experienced defense led by Plato and Davis, both of whom were all-conference. The Pioneers’ talent and leadership on the back line should keep them in every game. If Gutierrez and the rest of the front line can consistently find the back of the net it could be a breakout year for Elyria.

LAKE ERIE LEAGUE

Lorain Titans

COACH: Michelle Hilko, 2nd year

2010 RECORD: 6-10

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Tiyana Lighy, sr., F; Danielle Montanez, sr., GK-D; Anissa Brooks, sr., M-D; Haley Morris, jr., D; Jasmin Cruz, sr., F; Cassandra Shaffer, so., D; Sharae Woolfork, jr. M-D; Chelsea Ibarra, sr., D; Kelsey Drwal, sr., M; Tiffany McClelland, sr., M-D

SCOUTING REPORT: The Titans will have a veteran defense and an explosive midfield. Montanez, one of seven returning seniors, will take over the goalkeeping duties. In addition to a tough Lake Erie League schedule, Lorain will have key midseason games at Elyria and North Royalton to help it get ready for tournament play.

PATRIOT ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

STARS DIVISION

Black River Pirates

COACH: Maria Blakesslee, 2nd year

2010 RECORD: 0-9 as an independent

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ali Verovitz, sr., D; Kayla Finkel, sr., M-F; Ruth Muich, sr., M; Lula Mosley, sr., D; Leah Sprague, sr., GK; Jenna Periandri, sr., M-F; Nicole Heilman, jr., M-F; Sydney Wagner, jr., M-F; Brooke Wright, jr., M; Chelsea Black, jr., F; Courtney Massie, so., D; Angie Kazek, so., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: It will be the Pirates’ second year as a varsity program and first playing a Patriot Athletic Conference schedule. Sprague has been with the program since it started and is poised to have a big senior year in goal. Black River will be looking at Wagner and Finkel to provide much of its offense.

Brookside Cardinals

COACH: Zoran Cancar, 1st year

2010 RECORD: 1-15-1, 0-6-1

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Melanie McCowan, sr., GK; Sara Porter, so., M-D; Halle Brillhart, sr., D; Katie Burian, sr., D; Chavonne Chin, sr., F-D; Kalee Burton, sr., M-D; Taylor Byers, jr., F-D; Ashley Clough, jr., F; Caila Light, jr., F; Christie Tchompalov, sr., F; Danielle Hunt, sr., F; Bryanna Bonnett, sr., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Cardinals have a senior-laden team that has played together a long time. Hunt, McCoan and Burian all earned all-conference honors last season. New coach Zoran Cancar has the pieces in place to make this one of Brookside’s most successful seasons in recent history.

Firelands Falcons

COACH: Andy Marsh, 5th year

2010 RECORD: 11-7-0, 2-5-0 in West Shore Conference

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Cassie Mungia, sr., GK; Jessica Zurcher, jr., F; Rebecca Kozlowski, sr., F; Kayla Fowler, jr., F; Kathrine Galik, sr., D; Rachel Holowecky, jr., M; Haleigh Bari, so., M; Abigail Miller, jr., M; Karlie Canfield, jr., D; Randi Bukovac, jr., D; Jordan Yakunovich, jr., M; Jade Amanse, so., D; Mackenzie Lahetta, sr., F; Alyssa Melendez, so., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: Zurcher was the Falcons’ leading scorer with 28 goals last year, earning first-team honors from the Greater Cleveland Soccer Coaches Association. Kozlowski earned second-team honors, while scoring 11 goals. Muniga had six shutouts and 116 saves. Firelands has had a rash of early season injuries, but if they can get healthy they should make a run at the division title.

Keystone Wildcats

COACH: Tim Giesel, 1st year

2010 RECORD: 4-12-1, 3-4-1

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Alyson Broschk, sr., M-F; Beth Shinsky, sr., D-M, Jamie Stokely, sr., GK; Sami Cyrus, sr., D; Cheyanne Cooper, so., M-F; Paige Jamerson-Foster, so., M; Samantha Tompkins, so., M; Kelly Sherlock, so., M.

SCOUTING REPORT: Broschk, an All-Lorain County performer in 2010 with 16 goals, will lead a talented offense. But the Wildcats are a young team, lacking depth at key positions. The defense, led by Shinsky and Cyrus, will need to mature quickly if Keystone is going to make a run in the PAC.

Wellington Dukes

COACH: Kevin Ziegler, 10th year

2010 RECORD: 12-6-1, 5-1-1

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jacoby Ziegler, sr., F; Hannah Huelsman, sr., GK; Grace Dooley, jr., D; Megan King, jr., D; Anna Derrick, jr., D; Katie Rosemark, jr., M; Jennifer Echstenkamper, so., M; Michaela Price, so., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: 2010 Lorain County Division II Player of the Year Jacoby Ziegler, who scored 28 goals in 19 games, and goalkeeper Hannah Huelsman are the only seniors on the roster. Wellington’s defense is led by second-team All-Lorain County junior Grace Dooley. If the Dukes can stay healthy, expect them to battle for a PAC title.

STRIPES DIVISION

Columbia Raiders

COACH: John Talley, 2nd year

2010 RECORD: 2-11-1, 1-4-2

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Alexis Bycynski, so., D; Gabi Loos, jr., M-GK; Ariana Loos, so., M-D; Kristen Bouscher, so., D-F; Barb Rapacz, sr., D; Cheyanne Frosti, sr., M-D; Ashley Arendash, sr., M-F.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Raiders lost their top scorer and starting goalkeeper to graduation, meaning they will rely on a defense led by Bycynski and Rapacz to keep the pressure off freshman goalkeeper Jordan Paine. Depth will be a concern for the Raiders as the season progresses.

Oberlin Phoenix

COACH: Ben Eiskamp, 1st year

2010 RECORD: 5-11-1, 2-4-1

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Shekinah Centanni, sr., M; Rhema Centanni, sr., M; Brittany Crowley, sr., F; Angela Hudnell, sr., D; Abby Hicks, so., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: After graduating nine seniors, Oberlin will be one of the youngest teams in the area. Fortunately, the Phoenix play five of their first seven matches at home so they will have an opportunity to pull off some confidence-building wins.

Southwestern Conference

Amherst Comets

COACH: Roseanne Kuncel, 5th year

2010 RECORD: 5-11-1, 1-5-1

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brittany Sands, sr., M; Ashley Ferguson, jr., GK; Brianna Shagovac, jr., F; Mia Haslage, jr., M; Amber Slavik, jr., M; Lauren Bennett, so., M; Sheridan Champe, so., F; Kylie Haslage, so., D; Julie Lacock, so., D; Hayley Lepkowski, so., M; Lexi O’Connor, so., F; Gabby Semon, so., M.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Comets will be a strong defensive team with Ferguson, who had a 1.28 goals-against average and made 111 saves. With 13 returning letterwinners, Amherst has the most experienced team it has fielded in recent memory. Expect the Comets to improve on last year’s record and get their share of wins in a tough Southwestern Conference.

Avon Lake Shoregals

COACH: Kiko Lopez, 4th year

2010 RECORD: 12-4-1, 6-0-1 SWC champs

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jillian Strimbu, sr., M; Dana Strimbu, sr., GK; Cheyenne Luckstein, sr., D; Annie Lyons, sr., D; Taylor Nedrich, sr., M; Danielle Liszka, sr., D-M; Lindsay Quintero, sr., D; Rachel Gates, sr., M; Rachel Gates, sr., M; Emily O’Conner, so; F; Kailey McClain, jr. M; Christine Gates, jr., M; Paige Glasser, sr., D; Jocelyn Spitz, sr., M; Haley Mills, sr., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: Expectations are high. Dana Strimbu had five shutouts and made 101 saves earning second team All-SWC honors. Jillian Strimbu led the Shoregals in goals with 17, while O’Conner had 12 as a freshman. Both earned a spot on the All-Lorain County first team. Avon Lake also has one of the best defenses in the county to complement its offensive firepower. If the Shoregals stay healthy they can make a deep tournament run.

West Shore Conference

Avon Eagles

COACH: Tony Dimacchia, 4th year

2010 RECORD: 15-3-1, 6-0-1 WSC champs

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Natalie Wilden, sr., M-D; Kelsey Lawler, so., M-F; Megan Garner, sr., M-F; Sydney Simpson, sr., M-D; Holly Ohradzansky, sr., M-D; Kaitlin Patterson, sr., M; Nicole Chabot, jr., F; Christina Petrillo, jr., M; Lauren Kapalko, jr., M; Emilie Wetzig, jr., M; Kayla Wysocki, jr., F; Hannah Winger, sr., D; Holly Kraus, sr., GK.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Eagles lost Lorain County Division I Player of the Year Devon Saini to graduation but return 13 letterwinners, including second team All-Greater Cleveland goalkeeper Holly Kraus. Avon is a veteran team with one of the best defenses in the area. Non-league road games at Hathaway Brown, Westlake and Magnificat should have the Eagles ready to soar come tournament time.

Elyria Catholic Panthers

COACH: Tony Rozanc, 2nd year

2010 RECORD: 7-9-1

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Danielle Loparo sr., F; Brigid Griffin, sr., F; Katie Niemiec, sr., D; Gabey Thomas, sr., D; Marisa Ternes, sr., GK; Andrea Scarpelli, sr., M; Lauren Wisnor, jr., D; Emily Winfield, jr., M; Jessica Richards, jr., M; McKenzie Rozanc, so., D; Danielle Dziak, so., M; Kathleen Newman, so. D; Katie Gauntner, so., GK; Tricia Gauntner, so., D; Anastazja Golab, so., D

SCOUTING REPORT: The Panthers return seven starters and will also get back junior Lauren Wisnor, who missed her sophomore season due to injury. Last season’s top two scorers, Griffin and Loparo, also return in addition to the core of the defense. With a move to the West Shore Conference and a move down to the newly created Division III, it could be a big year for the Panthers.

Midview Middies

COACH: Josh Moore, 6th year

2010 RECORD: 10-5-2, 3-4-0

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Katrina Beckloff, sr., D; Casey Flemming, sr., M; Haley Radolec, sr., M; Kayla Hirschfelder, jr., M; Sam Bauer, so.; M; Torie Benton, so., F; Amanda Beusken so, M; Morgan Bowman, so. F; Kaysy Heyde, so., F; Allie Giese, so., M; Rachel Maver, so., D; Rachel Lusher, so., D; Kayla Keesecker, so., M; Savannah Dubber, so., D; Taylor Ceh, so., GK.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Middies are looking to build on a 2010 season that was their best in a decade. Benton scored seven goals as a freshman and Ceh had nine shutouts. Although Midview is still a young team, its experience could propel the Middies to the upper reaches of the West Shore Conference.

North Ridgeville Rangers

COACH: Bryan Asp, 4th year

2010 RECORD: 6-10, 1-6

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kaleigh Asp, sr., M-F; Shayna Asp, sr., F; Isabella Mercurio, sr., D; Marissa Austin, sr., D; Dakota Crumley, jr., M-F; Stephanie Moser, jr., D; Samantha Wiles, jr., GK; Elizabeth Browning, so., M-F; Sumer Cape, so., F; Emily Lesniak, so., D; Shelby Pyle, so., M-F; Sydney Ramage, so., M-F; Kayla Zingale, so., M-F.

SCOUTING REPORT: The Rangers will be a quick, aggressive squad led by senior Kaleigh Asp, who was a second-team all-conference and All-Lorain County performer as a junior. With 13 returning letterwinners the Rangers hope to improve on last season’s struggles in West Shore Conference play.

Vermilion Sailors

COACH: Lindsey Domonkos, 4th year

2010 RECORD: 6-10-1, 0-6-1

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ali Kowal, so., M; Emily Innes, so., D; Erin Strittmather, sr., M-F; Hannah Bartlome, so., M; Jade Bauer, sr., D; Kathleen McCurdy, so., D; Kelsey Craig, sr., GK, Rachel Terschak, jr., M-D; Rhems Nicoll, jr., D; Savannah Kuntz, jr., M-F; Taylor Spalding, sr., D; Kalynn Smith, jr., M-F.

SCOUTING REPORT: Craig is coming off a season in which she made 117 saves, while Nicoll and Spalding were both honorable mention All-Lorain County as juniors, so defense should not be a problem for the Sailors.

INDEPENDENTS

Lake Ridge Lions

COACH: Tara Bowen, 4th year

2010 RECORD: 13-4-2

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Sam Potoczak, sr., D; Marlena D’Amico, sr., M; Bryanna Daniel, sr., D; Kayla Daniel, sr., F; Devin Sponsseller, sr., M; Claire O’Neil, so., M-F; Lyndsey Davis, so., M-F; Kacie Gregory, M-F; Sabine Decatur, so., D.

SCOUTING REPORT: With a core group of seniors led by Kayla Daniel, who had eight goals and 10 assists as a junior, the Lions will look to repeat last year’s tournament run to the district finals. Lake Ridge will play an ambitious independent schedule featuring Division II state runner-up Hathaway Brown and a rematch of the district semifinal showdown with Lutheran West.

Open Door Patriots

COACH: Linda Varady, 9th year

2010 RECORD: 4-10-2

RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Julia Miraldi, sr., M; Courtney Smith, sr., D, Kaitlyn Haas, sr., D; Tori Baus, sr., D; Sarah Cox, sr., M, Allison Courtney, jr., GK; Brianna Bryant, jr., M; Bailey Hamilton, so., M.

SCOUTING REPORT: Miraldi, a first-team All-Lorain County center-midfielder as a junior, will look to have another big season. Courtney, who recorded 157 saves last season, is one of the best goalkeepers in the newly created Division III. With eight returning letterwinners it could be a breakout year for the Patriots, but a lack of depth could quickly derail the season if injuries begin to mount.

THE TOP PLAYERS

Bailey Andress, sr., Elyria (below)

Had 178 saves last year while allowing just 1.5 goals per match.

Jillian Strimbu, sr., Avon Lake

Scored 17 goals and earned first-team all-county honors as a junior.

Jessica Zurcher, jr., Firelands

Scored 28 goals as a sophomore. With another year of experience under her belt she could easily average two goals a match this season.

Holly Kraus, sr., Avon

Second-team All-Greater Cleveland goalkeeper had 12 shutouts last year, including six in West Shore Conference play.

Jacoby Ziegler, sr., Wellington

Scored 28 goals while earning Lorain County Division II Player of the Year honors last season.

THE TOP TEAMS

Avon Eagles

Expect the defending West Shore Conference champs to defend their title.

Avon Lake Shoregals

Have plenty of firepower to defend their Southwestern Conference championship.

Elyria Catholic Panthers

The move to the West Shore Conference should prepare the Panthers for a deep postseason run in the new Division III.

Wellington Dukes

The Dukes only have two seniors in the starting lineup, but should still have the talent to light up the scoreboard.

Midview Middies

Went 10-5-2 a year ago and could improve on those numbers thanks to a veteran lineup that includes 15 returnees.

THE TOP GAMES

Hathaway Brown at Lake Ridge, Sept. 7

The defending Division II state runners-up will provide a stern test for a veteran Lake Ridge team that advanced to district finals last fall.

Elyria Catholic vs. Elyria at Ely Stadium, Sept. 10

The Panthers took the Elyria Cup last year on their home field. Can they make it two in a row?

Wellington at Buckeye, Sept. 10

The top teams in the Patriot Athletic League battle in an early season showdown.

Bay at Avon, Sept. 21

The winner of this game will have a leg up in the WSC race.

Magnificat at Avon Lake, Oct. 8

The Blue Streaks ended Avon Lake’s season with a 2-1 win in last year’s sectional final.