Soccer: Woodmore at Oak Harbor, Monday, Aug 18, 2014
OAK HARBOR – Woodmore’s girls soccer team is not a group that tries to forget the past.
The Wildcats used a shutout setback to Oak Harbor in the district finals last season to motivate them in a 1-1 tie Monday versus the Rockets.
The words repeat and revenge are prominent parts of Woodmore’s vocabulary this season. The Rockets want to defend its Northern Buckeye Conference championship and beat Oak Harbor.
The Rockets fell to the Wildcats 3-2 in the season opener last year before topping them 5-0 in the postseason. Oak Harbor advanced to the state semifinals.
“We knew the first game of the season would be the toughest,” Woodmore coach Jason Allen said. “We knew we had to come out strong. We lost several starters to club soccer or another sport, in addition to the seniors. The motto is still ‘together as one.’
“They girls dug deep. It’s a collective unit — we have so many weapons — it’s not just one person.”
Woodmore’s Maddy Hines and Oak Harbor’s Emma Barney are playing for the Greater Toledo Futbol Club this fall. The Rockets’ Paige Velliquette will miss the season following hip surgery.
Camryn Bench came off the bench and scored with just less than four minutes left in Monday’s game. She was running laterally and got to a cross from Courteney Buchanan to deflect it up and over the goaltender before a collision.
“I saw the cross and sprinted my hardest,” Bench said. “I just tried to get a foot on the ball, and I got it past the goalie. We wanted to come out like we did in the first half. I just tried to get to every ball, and the goal just came to me. We were passing and talking and had a lot of shots in the first half.”
Starting with a strong litmus test provided both teams with a gauge.
“It’s not a loss,” Bench said. “We wanted to start the season out good and not bury ourselves. We’ll need to build from here. We’ll probably see them again in the tournament.”
Oak Harbor’s Alexa Weis opened the scoring about midway through the second half.
“I knew we wouldn’t get it in close, so I made it a goal to shoot from outside,” Weis said. “I shot for the upper corner and it went in. After the goal, we were trying to play more defense at the end to protect the lead but they still snuck one in. Our team is working well together with through balls and passing.
“We’ll just have to work on some things throughout the season. It was the first game so we did some things good, but there’s a lot to improve on.”
Woodmore’s hustle was evident Monday.
“They played very well and very organized,” Rockets coach Renee Goldstein said. “They beat us to the ball almost every time. We wore down in the second half and they played well. We didn’t get to the ball like we should have.”
Ivy Martin (Oak Harbor) and Julia Barbee (Woodmore) each made 11 saves. The Wildcats’ Emily Paul rang a shot off the cross bar and post in the corner in the second half.
“She’s a nice keeper,” Goldstein said of Barbee. “She was huge in the postseason and Ivy is huge for us.”
Allen credited Paul and Jesse Wegert with strong play from their midfield spots.