Blue Aces get taste of Sweet 16

Blue Aces get taste of Sweet 16

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Blue Aces get taste of Sweet 16

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GRANVILLE

Granville’s girls soccer team still thinks it has some unfinished business.

After winning their first Division II district championship, the Blue Aces (16-2-1) take aim at the Sweet 16 at 7 p.m. today when they meet former Mid-State League-Ohio Division foe Bexley (12-6-1) in the regional semifinals at Zanesville High School.

West Holmes meets Hillsboro in the other semifinal tonight at Upper Arlington. The winners collide at 3 p.m. Saturday at a site to be determined for a state tournament berth.

A young Bexley team has surprised many by catching fire in the tournament after losing its final two regular season games to Grandview (2-0) and Worthington Christian (1-0). The Blue Lions, the sixth seed in the Central District, took down No. 3 DeSales, 2-0, in the district finals. The Stallions had beaten Granville in the district finals the past two seasons.

Bexley is led by junior Addie Cin and freshmen Ashley Bolen and Lauren Woodford.

“They rely a lot on free kicks and corner kicks and like to go with set pieces,” Granville coach Scott Forster said. “They have skilled players through the midfield.”

The Blue Lions will likely pay special attention to Blue Aces’ sophomore Nikki Cox, who scored all four goals in the 4-1 district final win against Bloom-Carroll.

“When teams try to double and triple team her, it just fuels her fire,” Forster said. “She’s such a competitor.”

The Blue Aces have plenty of other scoring threats, led by seniors Chloe Kent and Riley Rosinski.

“Our wings, Allie Brunn and Taylor Drumm, have been playing with a lot more confidence the last several games,” Forster said. “They showed that last week in practice. They’ve stepped up and are attacking more.”

Granville, the top seed in the district, finished third in the final state coaches poll and was No. 1 for much of the season.

“It showed the girls they’re getting respect from coaches all around Ohio, and that they actually do have a really good team,” Forster said. “We had gotten to the edge of the district finals, but we feel we are a better team than just the district finals.

“We don’t need to change much. As long as we keep getting pressure all over the field, we should be fine.”

“I’m very confident we can do much more than this,” Cox said after the district title win.

“We need to keep our focus; we can’t let our energy drop,” Kent said.

dweidig@newark

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