McGinnis rewriting Woodmore’s girls soccer record book

Yaneek Smith

Press Contributing Writer

She’s the last line of defense.
Woodmore goalie Layla McGinnis is rewriting the record book and is leading the Wildcats to a fast start in her senior season.
Woodmore, which is following up what was arguably its most successful season in program history, is 6-2-1 and 4-1-1 in the Sandusky Bay Conference. The Wildcats have defeated the likes of Sandusky, Oak Harbor and Perkins and are riding a four-game winning streak.
McGinnis has 30 shutouts in her career, which broke the record of 26, held by Phoebe Jackson, and she also holds the career record for wins with 43.
“I think it was really cool breaking the record. I think coming together as a team and celebrating an accomplishment (was great),” said McGinnis. “The team was very supportive of it.”
She was quick to give her defenders credit, too.
“I think I’ll remember how strong my backline was,” McGinnis said. “I’m just giving a big shout out to my backline, because they’ve always been there for me. They save my butt a lot – girls like Sage Perry, Kalle Heins, Caydie Buchanan, Sydney Gillig and Megan Vogelpohl.”
Woodmore coach Jeff Helmke talked about McGinnis’ desire to win.
“Layla has put in the work over the last five to six years to be a great goalie. The abuse that she puts her body through at practice and the games is so under appreciated. She’s been phenomenal,” he said. “Layla allows the defense to play super aggressive, knowing that they have her back there and she can come out when needed. They know that she can cover when they make a mistake.
“She has great instincts, and she’s very hard on herself. When she lets one go by, she takes it very personally. She’s a natural; she works at practice and indoor soccer during the winter. She sets a good example, diving on the ground all practice long, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by the team.”
She was instrumental in the Wildcats’ run to the Division III regional semifinals last season, allowing just three goals in five matches. Seeded fourth in the Genoa District, Woodmore defeated Delta, 2-1, in double overtime in the sectional finals; beat Eastwood, one of the top teams in the state, 2-1 and routed Ottawa Hills, 4-0, to advance to regionals.
In the regional semifinals, the Wildcats held off Creston Norwayne, 1-0, before falling to Ottawa-Glandorf, 1-0.
McGinnis credited former Woodmore assistant Aaron Hunt with introducing her to the position.
“Coach Hunt made me want to be a goalie. I wanted to stick with defense,” she said. “But he said, ‘No, I’m going to throw you in goal and see how you do.’ He pushed me to be the best I could be. He’s coached me for a long time. It was great for him to see it through. Seventh grade is when I started playing goalie.”
This year’s team is very young.
“Out of our 75 goals scored last year, we returned kids with 10 goals,” said Helmke.
The starting lineup, which operates out of the 4-3-3 alignment, has Perry, Hines, Vogelpohl and Kira Travis on defense; Buchanan, Camille Strong and Izzy Helmke at midfield with Kelsey Kaylor and Taylor Hill and Emma Hahn at forward.
Kaylor leads the team with 16 goals (out of 23).
The other rotational players are Willow Lewis, Lyndee Wagner, Abbie Schmeltz, Taylor Hill, Ava Lee Cobb, Cassie Nissen, Riley Hesselbart and Addie Pleasnick.
“Six players have scored goals – that number needs to improve,” said Helmke. “We’re getting closer, the freshmen playing up front are getting more confidence.”
It’s been a great run for the program, which is one of the area’s best as it’s won league titles and district championships.
“The time and patience that all the youth coaches have put into the girls has paid off,” Helmke said, “Parents have taken their kids to travel soccer; it’s been built from the youth programs on up.”


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association