Woodmore’s youth stepping up to get ‘Cats big wins

J. Patrick Eaken

Woodmore girls soccer coach Lauren Colangelo said earlier this season that if her team “keeps its foot on the gas,” they could make it to the Division III district finals.
Well, they made it to the district tournament, and what they found there were three other Northern Buckeye Conference teams. No surprise there.
Woodmore did its part, defeating Lake 3-1, while NBC champion Eastwood shut out Genoa, 4-0. The Wildcats and Eagles were to face off for the third time this season at 1 p.m. Saturday at Genoa to determine who will advance to the regional tournament. Colengelo felt that this time her team was “ready to compete” with the Eagles, which handed Woodmore two of their three losses.
Woodmore, the NBC runner-up, was 13-3-2 entering the game, and had been ranked in the D-III statewide coaches’ poll earlier this season. The Wildcats did finish ranked fourth in the Northwest Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association poll. Eastwood (16-2) is ranked fifth in the state and first in Northwest Ohio.
Colangelo liked the way her team rebounded from a rough loss in their first game against Eastwood to make it closer the second game.
“The first time we played them was a tough game for us. We were actually tied with less than 15 minutes left and they were able to score four goals on us in that 15 minutes, so we lost to them 7-3,” Colangelo said. “We played them again and we lost 3-1, but we looked much, much better and it was actually more of a game.”
Woodmore’s only other loss was 2-1 to Liberty-Benton, ranked second in Northwest Ohio and 10th in the state. L-B could be Eastwood or Woodmore’s opponent in the regional tournament.
Like multiple other high school programs in the area, including Eastwood, the Wildcats don’t have a lot of seniors. Besides youth, Colangelo says this team has something else — the ability to play well together.
“I think aside from soccer, our biggest strength is our unity and chemistry as a whole. We are a fairly young team,” Colangelo said. “A lot of our girls have grown up together, and we are so small and tiny (enrollment-wise), they all have gone to school together and been friends for a long time.
“So that definitely helps on the field, and our senior class, we have three starters who are all incredible and they are all great leaders. They have really stepped up this year to lead the team.”
Colangelo says her defense has come up big, led by senior center back Sydney Gillig and freshman goalkeeper Layla McGinnis.
“Our center back (Gillig) is a huge part of our team,” Colangelo said. “She is a senior and is definitely the leader of the team. We have a freshman goalkeeper, who because of our center back, has only allowed 19 goals this year,” with 10 of those goals coming to Eastwood.
“Besides Eastwood and Liberty-Benton, no team has scored more than one goal on us. Except for Eastwood (in the second game), that was the first time we did not score first in a game,” Colangelo said.
The Wildcat defense has shut out eight opponents and McGinnis has made 79 saves. Meanwhile, the offense has scored 87 goals.
“Aside from Autumn Beaudoin (10 goals, 13 assists), a senior midfielder, all of our top goal scorers are freshmen or sophomores. The girl who is leading us in points, sophomore (forward/midfielder) Alyana Hahn, has 19 goals and nine assists,” Colangelo said.
Macey Bauder has 15 goals and 10 assists, Azure Travis has 10 goals and two assists, Melanie Hunt has eight goals and five assists, Autumn Bowen has six goals and four assists, Marina Rotruck has five goals and one assist, and Paige Helmke has scored four goals.
Greta Bauder has three goals and two assists, Gillig has two goals and three assists, Rahzia Rios has one goal and five assists, Cameran Quisno has scored twice, Sage Perry and Sidney Wank have one goal and two assists apiece, and Olivia Heidebrink and Makayla Stang each have an assist.
Colenagelo says the offense has also played its part in leading the Wildcats to big wins. Woodmore graduated 16 letter winners and had only four returning, but this team has already outpaced last year’s team in wins.
“In our strongest games we have been able to beat Lake and Genoa twice (in NBC games). We lost to them every time we played them last year, so that was a big step, and we tied Archbold, which we lost to 4-0 last year and Archbold is always a tough contender. That was a big step for us,” Colangelo said.
Colangelo plans to continue scheduling Northwest Ohio’s top programs and believes those games have helped her team.
“I think we are definitely growing as the season goes along. Sometimes I think it is a lack of confidence thing because they do not see how good they truly are,” Colanegelo said. “That’s why I like playing the teams like Eastwood, Liberty-Benton and Archbold because we are able to compete and make it a game, and that helps them grow a little bit each time.
“I’m very proud of the girls. Last year (7-9-1) was a rough year and this year even with COVID and everything else that has been going on, they have really stepped up through the adversity that we are facing and really shown everyone that we are the real deal and we are there to compete.”


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