MADEIRA – The latest crop of Madeira High School Amazon soccer players are on the field as coach Dan Brady hopes to continue his run in the Cincinnati Hills League.
With an overall record of 164-48-18, Brady and his ‘Zons have won five of the last seven CHL titles. He also has enough CHL Coach of the Year trophies to prop open four doors.
Madeira shared the league title at 5-1-1 with Indian Hill last season and finished 11-5-3 overall.
The Amazons return CHL first-teamers Toni Alloy and Sarah Letscher; second-team pick Emily Heisser and honorable mention selection Shannon Williamson. All four will be seniors. Alloy, Williamson and Megan Ball were all top scorers a year ago.
Letscher and Heisser will be counted on to help a young defense that has seen CHL Player of the Year Cass Nieman (Xavier) and goalkeeper Sarah Mahler (Carnegie Mellon) move on.
Upcoming games for Brady’s bunch are at Seven Hills Aug. 20 and a home game with Springboro Aug. 23. Their annual showdown with Indian Hill will be on the road Oct. 8.
“The CHL is wide open as always with Mariemont and Wyoming being the preseason favorites in my book,” Brady said.
Deer Park’s Lady Wildcats were 3-12-2 last season and will rely on Sam Wood, Dominique Brenner, Hope Mueller and Mirand Venus. Brenner was all-league honorable mention in 2013.
“We have a returning cast of players who know what the CHL is about,” coach Nick Rascona said. “It should be a promising year for our team.”
Ahead for Deer Park are games at Mount Healthy Aug. 25 and Taylor Aug. 27. A big rivalry game with Reading is Sept. 24.
Former Xavier player and assistant coach Keri Heedum takes over the soccer program at Mount Notre Dame, where she is also an assistant athletic director.
The Cougars were 6-5-6 in 2013 and 1-2-2 in the Girls Greater Catholic League.
GGCL first-team goalkeeper Sam Leshnak is back and will be supported by centerback Kacy Eckley, forward Holly Denny, midfielder Grace Wilson and midfielder/goalkeeper Jenna Prathapa.
After the Aug. 19 opener with Mason, MND is at Lebanon on Aug. 25. Rivalry games of note are Sept. 3 at St. Ursula and home with Ursuline Sept. 24.
Armed with more than 200 career wins and two of the last three Cincinnati Hills League championships, Indian Hill High School girls soccer coach Amy Dunlap will face another challenging schedule.
The Lady Braves led off with Eastern Cincinnati Conference champion Loveland and also have Milford, Fenwick, Ross, Anderson, Carroll, Seven Hills, Tippecanoe and Alter on their non-conference slate.
Last year’s crew was 10-7-2 (5-1-1 CHL). Top returners are seniors Grace McCormick, Syd Gloster, Macy Miller, Lauren Sahlfeld, Taylor Lance, Sophie Bell and Bea Hernandez; juniors Lexi Carrier, Claire Brown, Piper Fries and Elise Sum and sophomore Ellie Schaub.
Carrier and Miller were CHL first team last season with Bell, McCormick and Schaub making second team
Junior Maggie Seiler also returns have a season off and Morgan Jackson, Maddie Cech and Anna Pescovitz are promising freshmen.
“Indian Hill is a traditionally strong team defensively and most of our returning players are on the defensive side,” Dunlap said. “Lexi Carrier, Grace McCormick and Syd Gloster will anchor the defense and Ellie Schaub will again be strong in the net.”
Dunlap looks to Sophie Bell and freshman Morgan Jackson to help the Lady Braves light up the scoreboard from their forward positions.
Indian Hill will host Milford Aug. 21. Their first league game is at Mariemont Aug. 27.
The Cincinnati Country Day girls team comes into 2014 following an 18-2 record last year that included a runner-up finish in the Miami Valley Conference and a Division III district title.
Head coach Theresa Hirschauer could earn her 300th career win with a similar season; she owns a 285-121-33 record over the course of her 25 year-career at the Indians’ helm.
Senior Briana Maggard and sophomore Olivia Brown return after all-city seasons in the midfield last year, where they will be joined by junior Lauren Buczek. A trio of seniors in Grace Krammer, Charlotte Jackson and Kaitlin Harden lead the defense in front of sophomore goalie Olivia Robinson, who recorded eight shutouts as a freshman.
Sophomore forward Natalie Choo should be an asset up front after transferring from Seven Hills.
“We need to find someone to put the ball in the back of the net after the graduation of all-state player Kelsey Zimmers,” Hirschauer said. “I think we will be a team that has the capability for three or four players to score 10 to 12 goals each and be more balanced than last year.
“I think until someone beats them, Summit is the team to beat in the MVC. Our goal – like every year – is to win MVC and go as far as we can in the OHSAA tourney. I think we have the talent, but like any season we need to stay healthy and become a team.”
CCD opens against McNicholas Aug. 18 at home and hosts Mariemont Aug. 23 in a girl-boy doubleheader.
Ursuline Academy was 9-5-5 in 2013, including a 3-2 record in the GGCL good for second place. The Lions avenged a regular season loss against league rival Seton in the second round of the Division I sectional tournament before falling to Loveland.
Head coach Colleen Dehring has a trio of first team all-GGCL picks returning in seniors Andie Kennard, Mikaela McGee and Sara Robertson. Senior Jordan Hollmeyer and junior Holyn Alf were second team picks last season.
The Lions open the season at Walnut Hills Aug. 16 and have their home opener against Lakota East Aug. 26. GGCL play begins Sept. 3 at Seton.