Eagles’ defense records 760-plus scoreless minutes

J. Patrick Eaken

Woodmore juniors Macey Bauder and Alayna Hahn were the first to score this season against Eastwood, but it came after the Eagles recorded nine straight consecutive shutouts.

Bauder and Hahn scored in the second half of a 4-2 Eastwood victory. Since then, the Eagles have shut out two more opponents and are now 12-0, outscoring opponents 92-2. Until Bauder and Hahn scored, Eastwood went over 760 consecutive minutes without a goal allowed.

Eastwood’s offense has 252 shots on goal and 416 total shots, averaging 7.7 goals, 6.5 assists, 21 SOG, and 34.7 shots per game. Opponents have managed 35 shots, including 20 on goal, averaging 0.17 goals and 0.17 assists, 1.67 SOG and 2.92 total shots per game.

As a result, freshman goalkeeper Jordan Jensen and her team have tied the record for most shutouts in a single season with 11. Previous teams also with 11 shutouts were the 2015 team (goalkeeper Chandler Davidson) and the 2020 team (goalkeeper Jaylee Souder).

Of course, 11th-year coach Megan Rutherford says no one should let the defensive stats fool you.

“We tend to dominate possession so our defensive stats aren’t as high as you might expect,” Rutherford said. 

The Eagles are closing in on winning their fourth straight Northern Buckeye Conference title. Rutherford knows that if Eastwood advances deep into the tournament, ranked teams may have something to say about how good the Eagles’ defense really is. Her defense will have to be ready when the heavy attack finally comes, and they got a taste of it when they faced Woodmore and Lake in Northern Buckeye Conference play. 

“Since we have most of the possession in the majority of our games, but the Woodmore game was not as skewed, we do have to practice defending the counter,” Rutherford said. 

“What is very difficult for high school defenders to do is defend counter attacks, especially like when Woodmore and Lake has some speedy players on top and they can run. They handled (Lake forward Ava Ayers) real well, and it’s a tall order to ask a back line to constantly be ready to defend the counter and never make a mistake. 

“They’ve done really well, and we won nine straight games by shutout, and since I have been coaching, the maximum number of straight shutouts was four. So, we’ve more than doubled that. It’s pretty outstanding what they are doing.”

The one dynamic that has changed is that freshman goalkeeper Jada Jensen has taken over for the graduated Jaylee Souder. Jensen has stopped 18 of 20 shots for a 90 percent save percentage.

“She is actually the younger sister of Jada Jensen, one of our starting midfielders, who is a senior. They are both competitive. This freshman handles the pressure well. She has only had to make 10 saves, she has only faced 20 total shots and 10 of them were not even on frame. 

“So, when she has to make a save usually it’s a big save. She must be good with her feet, good with communicating with her back line, good with distributing, and rebuilding our attacks. She is almost like playing a sweeper keeper as well,” Rutherford continued.

“We do have a lot of the possessions, so she has to be able to step up and disrupt the balls behind and she has done really well with that. I don’t know if people realize how good she is because she hasn’t saved a whole lot yet.”

The defense is led by senior Sydney Ameling, who has 33 steals. Jada Jensen has 23, seniors Mikayla Hoelter and Megan Graham have 18 each, senior Kaylynn Simon has 17, followed by junior Hannah Montag (16), junior Emma Downs (15), senior Aubrey Haas (13) and senior Makenna Souder (11). 

Simon has a team-high 68 intercepts, followed by sophomore Amelia Ward (66), junior Kayden Firsdon (55), Ameling (50), sophomore Reilly Might (35), senior Mikayla Buehler (32), Hoelter (27), Souder (21), Graham (20), Jada Jensen (19), Downs (19) and Montag (11).



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