SYCAMORE TWP. – Brian Fallon makes the switch from assistant boys soccer coach at Loveland to taking over the Sycamore High School Lady Aves this season.
The first order of business is to move Sycamore up in the Greater Miami Conference standings. The Lady Aves last won a GMC soccer crown in 2007.
“Coming off a 7-7-3 season, we hope to improve with a good mix of experienced and skillful players,” Fallon said.
Key players listed by Fallon are Farrah Brown, Allie and Katie Oh and Ashley Thiss. Thiss was a GMC first-team selection in 2013, with Katie Oh making second team.
After opening at East Central Aug. 19, Sycamore is at McAuley Aug. 25 before their home debut Aug. 30 with Winton Woods. The following month they play the GMC co-champs back-to-back. The Lady Aves host Fairfield Sept. 9 and are at Mason Sept. 11.
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy finished at .500 with a 7-7-3 record last season, including a 3-2-2 record good for fourth place in the Miami Valley Conference.
Junior Emma Conway scored 10 goals and had eight assists to lead the team as a sophomore while earning second team all-MVC honors. Sam Houtchens was another second-team honoree. Senior Savannah Mary returns to provide leadership.
“We are looking forward to building on last year with a returning core group of players,” said head coach Abby Schumacher. “We are expecting strong leadership from the upperclassmen and counting on contributions from talented freshmen.”
Ursuline Academy was 9-5-5 in 2013, including a 3-2 record in the Girls Greater Catholic League 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.
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.
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 GGCL.
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.
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.