senior and leading scorer Kelsey Slater has missed the Lady
Demons’ last few games due to an injury but is expected back
for the playoffs. (Photo by Larry Bennet)
SWC girls soccer teams ranked for state playoffs
By Zachary Dzurick
Published Oct. 20, 2004
season. It doesn't matter what your record was during the regular
campaign, everyone starts out 0-0. But that doesn't make everyone
has obviously earned the respect of local soccer coaches. Five schools
have earned seeds for the upcoming D-1 and D-2 tournaments.
North Olmsted earned the top two seeds in the D-1 tourney while
two time defending champ Bay is the number one seed in D-2. Surprising
Fairview earned the second seed in D-2 while Rocky River was voted
the fourth seed.
"It is an big
honor for the SWC to have five teams seeded," Fairview coach Michael
the conference with a 5-1 mark but for third straight year had a
perfect conference mark ruined by Bay. Westlake coach Scott Jones
said don't let Bay's 8-7-1 record fool you.
"No one is
talking about Bay in D-II right now because of their record being
close to .500," Jones said. "But look at the teams they are playing,
the best teams in the state of Ohio game in and game out. They are
holding their own and winning half of them. Come playoff time in
D-II they will go very very far. It would not surprise me if they
won another state title."
It will also
be the end of an era as the three D-2 schools will be leaving the
conference next season to join the Westshore Conference.
"It will be
kind of sad," North Olmsted coach Tom Greene said. "I grew up with
this conference. It has been the leading conference in the state
of Ohio for girls soccer."
keeper Danielle Klein sums up Westlake's goal pretty precisely.
Klein said. "Plain and simple. We can take it all if we work hard
enough. We work very well together. Our defense is very solid. Nothing
really gets behind Steph (Szarka). We are always marking tight.
Our mid field is always working hard. Tara (McCrone) and Brooke
(Henderson) control the middle. (Kelsey) Slater up front, she is
heck of a player and always working hard. And Hanna (Wilde) is Hanna.
She can shoot from just about every where and dribble through just
10-3-3. They have been hit hard with injuries. Seniors Rachel Green
and Chelsea Pavlik were lost for the season. Sophomore Ashley Pease
will miss the first few rounds of the playoffs after being knocked
out cold for about twenty seconds against Magnificat. Their leading
scorer, Slater with 14 goals and 8 assists, missed the Bay and Magnificat
games. It is hoped she will be back for Saturday's game. Wilde and
Klein have also missed some games. "We have been pretty successful
the last couple of years and this is our best all around team,"
Wilde is second
on the team with 9 goals and 12 assists. But besides Slater and
Wilde, the Lady Demons have many players who can put the ball in
"We are very
spread around and we got four or five girls with five goals." Jones
said. "Our numbers are high as a team but not so much as an individual
which is better for us.
start out that well for Tom Greene's youthful bunch. First they lost
senior Britney Back to injury and then they lost two games early including
the SWC opener 3-0 to Westlake. Things have improved.
"I think we
are ready to rock and roll," Greene said. "We are 12-1-1 since those
early games. We are not a high scoring team but we aren't afraid
Back leads the team with 16 goals and 11 assists but after that
the scoring is balanced. Jackie Mahon has 6 goals and 5 assists.
Amy Spence has 5 goals and 6 assists. Amanda Spence has 3 goals
and 2 assists. Meghan Hall and Lauren Wilhelm also contribute offensively.
"We have a
lot of kids creating," Greene said.
Katie Berry has developed into an outstanding goal keeper.
matured into a really good goal keeper," Greene said. "She has made
some great saves in big games."
defenders include Shannon Eccleston, Kori O'Neill, Laura Mayer,
Cassie Thomas and Wilhelm.
"Kori has been
unbelievable," Greene said. "She and Shannon can't be beat. And
Willie is an enforcer. She wins every 50/50 ball. She is a beast."
he can't look past a talented Magnificat team but he believes his
team has a shot to go a long way.
in themselves. We have turned things around. We believe."
It is amazing
what an excellent coach can do, Michael Lucskay was the coach of the
boys team from 1984 to 1992. He coached the boys to state during his
tenure. In his first year of coaching the girls program, the team
earned its highest ever seeding and its first winning record (8-6-2)
in school history. Many of those losses were to some of the best teams
in the state.
two of the state finest on defense.
Rehnert should probably be All-Ohio," Lucskay said of his senior
sweeper. "She was just super this year. It was fun to watch all
of the college coaches talk to her after games."
And while Lucskay
thinks highly of Rehnert, he gushes about his junior goal keeper.
is the top ranked goalie in the state of Ohio," Lucskay said. "In
16 games, she has allowed just 18 goals against top competition.
She could be a keeper on any boys team. She is that good. I was
a professional goal keeper and I am not used to seeing a girl be
that good. I believe it is possible that Hathaway Brown's Courtney
Rosen and Marcia could both play for the National team some day."
has three talented midfielders with seniors Erin Carroll, Jenny
Klag and sophomore Melissa Chrisafi.
ten goals and Erin has seven goals," Lucskay said. "But have exceptional
ball control. Melissa is the future. She is only a sophomore and
is recovering from having a cyst removed. She does a really good
senior Sara Thadeus has 13 goals while junior Stacie Dorian provides
"Sara is an
exceptional player," Lucskay said. "Stacie has beautiful ball control.
We beat Beaumont 4-0 in our last game and their coach was like who
was number 14 because she was almost unstoppable."
his difficult schedule has prepared his team for the postseason
but he knows from experience that anything can happen.
"We play strong
teams and that has made us better. We are on an upswing," Lucskay
said. "But anything can happen. The year I coached the boys to state.
We played Oberlin the first game and out of nowhere they were beating
us with seven minutes to go in overtime. We tied it and won on penalty
kicks then won five games in a row but we almost lost the first
Salco's team finished the year 9-6-1. Their only losses in their last
12 games were to Westlake, North Olmsted and Fairview. Defense was
a key for the Lady Pirates as they tied a team record with eight shutouts.
Salco credits his freshman goal keeper Courtney Van Atta and his defense.
gets credit on record for these eight shutouts, it is a complete
team accomplishment. Our defense has been awesome all year," Salco
said, "I am not only proud of Courtney, but all of the girls."
Some of Rocky
River's top defenders are junior sweeper Abbey Suttman, junior stopper
Debra Leitch, junior outside backs Jessa Lydon and Caroline Carte
and sophomore outside backs Catie Manns and Beth Jaworski.
his team is playing their best soccer of the year right now.
"We have won
4 of our last 5 games and have only given up 4 goals and scored
17 in those games," Salco said. "I feel really good about our team
right now. We had our ups and downs in the middle of the season,
but have pulled together as a team and are on top of our game right
now. If we play the way we have been playing as of late, I think
we could make a great run in the D-II tournament."
Salco has a
balanced offense. Senior midfielder Anne Jaworski has 7 Goals and
6 assists. Sophomore forward Ashley Rucker has 7 goals and 3 assists.
Junior midfielder Kelly Peters adds 6 goals with her 5 assists.
Junior forward Caitlin Burke also has 6 goals to go with her 4 assists.
Sophomore midfielder Meredith Gourash has 5 goals and 3 assists.
Junior midfielder Brie Patterson has scored 4 times to go with 5