Demons have clinched,
but Bay-Westlake still a showdown
By Zachary Dzurick
Published Oct. 13, 2004
girls soccer team set a goal to win the SWC before the season. But
it is doubtful that even the Lady Demons or their coach, Scott Jones,
believed that the title would be secured before the final regular-season
game against archrival Bay.
The Lady Rockets
spoiled Westlake's hopes the last two seasons. In fact, Westlake
has not lost an SWC game the last three seasons -- except to the
two-time defending Div. II state champs.
As for this
season, Westlake is 6-0 in the conference heading into tonight's
showdown. Bay is 4-1-1. North Olmsted is also 4-1-1.
Since the title
has been clinched, does that mean tonight's Bay-Westlake game doesn't
"We will play
just as it means everything," Jones said. "We will show up and play
our best. This is the last season Bay will be in the SWC. We will
still play them but it won't mean the same again."
overcome several injures this season. Seniors Rachel Green and Chelsea
Pavlik were lost for the season. Team leaders Hanna Wilde and Kelsey
Slater also have not been immune. Wilde has had some nagging injuries
and Slater recently pulled a ligament in her foot that limited her
to less than 10 minutes against Avon Lake.
Green and Pavlik, we have been gradually getting everyone back,"
Jones said. "Kelsey's injury is a setback, but we hope to have her
for Bay if not the playoffs."
is just the first tough test for both teams this week. Westlake
hosts Magnificat on Saturday in a possible playoff preview of the
first and third seeds in the Div. I Rocky River District. Bay travels
to Div. I power Hudson.
"We had three
goals," Jones said. "We wanted to win the SWC. We wanted to be the
first seed so we can play at home in the playoffs. And we wanted
to be ranked. It doesn't look like that one will happen. We needed
to beat Brecksville instead of tying them. Maybe if we could beat
Bay and Magnificat."
is the word Bay coach Beth Gavin uses to describe this season for
her young Lady Rockets.
"It has been
a rough road," Gavin said. "We play a D-I schedule to prepare for
the playoffs. But we won, then we lost, then we won, then lost.
We are at a loss of words of why. We could have lost only once but
Bay is only
7-6-1, but after two more difficult games this week, it is a brand
new season, as they attempt to defend the Div. II state crown. The
tough competition has pushed her four seniors and fire-tested the
rest of Gavin's young team. There are signs of progress.
has scored six goals in the last four games," Gavin said. "And with
all of our forwards, we have a lot of speed up top.
has done a great job in goal. She has stepped right in. Caity O'Hara
has moved to center mid and has really taken control of the center
of the field."
She also has
the leadership of her four seniors: Bethany Jordan, Jessica Lauerhass,
Halle Plagens and Molly Sweeney. In trying to find the right fit,
they have often been moved around to various roles.
"It has been
a challenge for the seniors," Gavin said. "It has been a hard and
long season. They have worked hard. The girls quit looking at the
SWC. It isn't that they didn't care, but it was more important to
look towards the goal of state. Our schedule prepares us for that."
now back up top, while Lauerhass and Sweeney are in the back.
"Jess has really
taken charge in the back," Gavin said of Lauerhass.
So are the
positions set? Has Gavin found the lineup she needs for the playoff
"We hope so,"
Gavin joked. "I will let you know after Wednesday's game."
aside, after the intensity of the loaded schedule gives way to the
first two Div. II playoff games against brand new programs, how
do you keep the intensity?
"It was tough,"
Gavin admitted. "But we keep 22 girls and it is through training
we keep our intensity."