Both Hannah Wiederhold of Batavia and Kaitlyn Gregory of Williamsburg — the reigning players of the year in their respective divisions — are scheduled to return to lead their school’s defense of SBAAC girls soccer titles in 2020.
Batavia won the American Division in a tight battle with Western Brown and Clinton-Massie. New Richmond had been part of the past four American titles.
In the National Division, Williamsburg won the title over Clermont Northeastern. The Wildcats have four first-teamers from last season expected back to the lineup in 2021. WHS has won outright or shared the last three National Division titles.
Blanchester loses one top-line player from last season’s 3-11-2 team, but it’s a big one, coach Kristina White said.
Lana Roy was the team captain and “all-around tough player. She led the team through great communication, a positive attitude and fantastic effort day in and day out.”
The Ladycats have a quirky schedule layout this season. The first home match comes after seven matches away from home. The season closes with six of seven matches at Barbour Memorial Field.
White is in her second season as head coach. She will be assisted by Spencer Robinette.
There are 12 returning letterwinners, with eight of those players starters, White said.
“I like the team rapport each girl has created so far in the preseason,” said White. “The girls are having fun, while working together to improve every day. This year, the girls have consistently built new relationships, while helping each other to progress, which is different from the past.
“The thing that most needs improvement is the team’s communication while on the field and finding the open player. We are working hard to improve our ‘small game,’ so communication and knowing where our teammates are is crucial.”
White said the freshman class “is going to offer this team a lot. They are a great group of girls with very positive attitudes and a terrific work ethic. They show up to every practice ready to put their best foot forward and push the rest of the team to do their best. Miranda Keith is one key player who was top-notch in our preseason tournament in June. She will be a great addition to the defensive line with her speed and ball skills.”
White said the team can challenge the top of the National Division this season if “we cintinue to work hard and build upon our strengths, while improving our weak spots. Our team needs to be sure we are well conditioned and ready to compete the entire 80 minutes of play.”
The Falcons got off to a good start last season, posting a 5-0-1 record in the first six SBAAC matches of the year.
However, a 1-2-2 finish left Massie in third place in the division
Nora Voisey (2021 graduate) and Ashley Doyle (senior) were first teamers for the Falcons last year. Aiden Eades was a second team pick as was graduate Kenzie Avery.
In her third year as head coach Haley Ibaugh has a solid core of returning upperclassmen for the Wilmington High School girls soccer team.
There are nine letterwinners and seven starters back for the Lady Hurricane.
”We have a lot of strength and leadership in our junior and senior classes,” she said. “We’re excited to see them step up and lead their team to success this year.”
Taylor Noszka, a junior, is expected to lead the Hurricane after her second-team all-league performance last season.
Paige Bryant, now at West Virginia Wesleyan University, was first team for WHS but graduated in the spring. Olivia Hisco, a team captain like Bryant last season, was second team all-league and graduated as well.
”We have several incoming freshmen as well as a transfer student this year and we are excited to see the impact they have on our team,” Ibaugh said.
Ibaugh will be assist this season by Reece Ibaugh and volunteer coaches Abby Spirk and Bobby Oetzel.