Girls soccer programs strong

J. Patrick Eaken

        Once again, girls soccer on this side of the Toledo metro area is extremely strong — if you look at all-league teams, they are dominated by teams like Eastwood, Clay, Oak Harbor, Genoa, Lake and Woodmore, and for good reason.
        However, there is only one league champion, where some years there are three or four. Eastwood, with its talented sophomore class, completed its second straight unbeaten regular season and defended its Northern Buckeye Conference title.
        Eastwood finished this season with a 20-1 record and a No. 3 ranking in the state coaches’ poll. Sophomore attacker Kenna Souder, the Alan Miller Jewelers Co-Player of the Year, Northwest District POY, and a first team All-Ohio selection, led Eastwood with 33 goals this season, followed by sophomore attacker Aubrey Haas (29), senior forward Raegan Delgado (15), freshman midfielder/forward Hannah Montag (15) and sophomore center midfielder Sydney Ameling (13).
        Sophomore defensive center mid Kaylynn Simon led Eastwood with 20 assists. Souder had 17 assists, while freshman Hannah Montag and sophomores Aubrey Haas, Jada Jensen and Ameling all had nine apiece. Souder had 59 saves on 75 shots faced, for a 78.7 percent save percentage.
        The Eagles were rewarded with more honors — Megan Rutherford was named by the Ohio Soccer Coaches Association Division III Coach of the Year, and only one of those awards goes out. In addition, her top aide, Julie Cross, was named Northwest District Assistant Coach of the Year.
        Rutherford is just pleased she has a good share of the team for two more years.
        “They are competitors. They want to win,” Rutherford said. “They will do anything to help each other be successful, help the team win. They are pretty bought in so it’s not hard to keep them focused. They are a little goofy at times, but you have to have balance. They just want to keep winning just one game at a time.”
        Because local soccer programs are so strong, there are four Co-Players of the Year, including Waite senior midfielder/forward Annabelle Jennings, who won the same honor for the Toledo City League. Jennings had nine goals and double digit assists, and did everything for the Indians.
        “In addition to being primarily a midfielder she was utilized as a goalie, defense and a forward many games,” Waite coach Erin Booth said. “She’s pretty much the definition of an all-around player.”
        There is no voting for All-Press soccer — names are carried over from all-league voting and tweaked based on district and state voting.
        Also getting Player of the Year is Clay senior midfielder Rylee Clark, who is like the Energizer bunny if you’ve ever seen her play — she is everywhere at once, and teams have a hard time getting the ball into the Eagles’ defensive zone when she has her way. She is also a first team All-Ohioan in Division I, which means The Press is not the only one who noticed her on the pitch.
        In D-III, there were other all-state nods. Lake sophomore forward Ava Ayers, Genoa senior forward Tatum Neumann, and Woodmore senior forward Claire Rothert are second team All-Ohio.

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