By Joe Ostrica and Ryan Kaczmarski
After a disappointing 2-14-2 season last year, including 1-5 in the Southwestern Conference, the Avon Lake girls soccer team has 13 returning letter winners to help get the Shoregals back on the winning track.
The Shoregals will count on sophomore forward Olivia Siko, an All-Lorain County second team selection and SWC and All-Greater Cleveland honorable mention, to lead the way. Senior midfielder Clare Adams, an All-Lorain County, SWC and All-Greater Cleveland honorable mention, is also back to run the offense.
Key defenders include senior Rada Zunich, junior Maggie Moore and sophomore Kellie Norris, who will assist junior goalkeeper Elise Duvall in the backfield. Duvall recorded 20 saves for Avon Lake last year.
Other returning letter winners for the Shoregals include seniors Esther Killius and Kayla Kress, juniors Lindsay Butler, Brianna Carlin, Addison Poole and Mae Quinn and sophomore Lauren Anthony.
“Our goals are to have a winning season, win the SWC and make it to the sectional finals,” Avon Lake head coach Daegen Duvall said. “Westlake, Amherst and Brecksville will be the teams to beat. This is the last season for Brecksville in the SWC, so it would be nice to beat them.”
After going 9-8-2 in 2013, the North Olmsted High School girls soccer team returns 11 letter winners this year, and has high hopes for a SWC title.
Returning in midfield are seniors Erin Schloss, Cassandra Arendic and Mackenzie Soneson; junior Madison Johnson and sophomore Sydney Dion. Senior Danielle Yasenchak and junior Alisha Schnupp lead the attack, while seniors Danielle Dindia and Kylie Cairns lead the defense. Junior Emily Patterson returns in goal for the Eagles.
“We have strong senior leadership,” North Olmsted head coach Tom Greene said. “The key to our success is to stay healthy for the entire season.”
Olmsted Falls lost a large part of its girls soccer team to graduation, but many of the incoming juniors have a lot of varsity experience gained in 2013.
The key returners on offense are Lexi Gomez, Rachel Caraffi, Maggie Bildstein and Skylar Altstadt.
Returning on defense are Katie Owens, Meredith Ashton, Brittany Chapman and Kenzie Ferguson.
“We are preaching teamwork and family,” Bulldogs head coach Peter DuBois said. “Our numbers are not high, so we have to pull together a little more this year.”
Westlake did not reply in time for this story.