BELLVILLE — Clear Fork is continuing to learn to play without its All-Ohioan.
Senior forward Jordyne Helinski, the all-time girls soccer scorer at Clear Fork, tore her ACL during a practice on Sept. 11. Persevering in her absence, the Colts are slowly figuring out how to fill the void. They took another step Tuesday night during a 4-1 Ohio Cardinal Conference victory over Lexington.
It was a much better result than the 6-0 loss to fifth-ranked Granville that Clear Fork suffered a day after the injury.
“A lot of girls question whether our season was over,” CF coach Brittany Bechtel said, adding that others got their competitive fires burning and still others were unsure. “You mix that together and each day you find success puts a little hope and heart in these girls that it still can be done.”
Since the devastating loss of Helinski and the blowout loss to Granville, the Colts have won twice and continue to control their own destiny in the OCC race at 7-2, 4-0. However, they did fall out of the Division II coaches poll this week.
“It’s times and moments like these that you find out what kind of team you are and they’ll surprise you the most. Hopefully it’s surprising with good gifts for the rest of the year,” Bechtel said.
The Colts ceremoniously started Helinski on Senior Night. On first touch the ball was kicked out of bounds so she could leave the field for a substitute. She will have surgery Friday, but should be back in plenty of time to start her career next fall at Wright State.
Less than five minutes into the match, her freshman sister Kaylin Helinski dribbled through the Lady Lex defense and drove the ball to the right side of the net for a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, the younger Helinski headed in a Meshia Curry direct kick to make it 2-0.
“It allows them to know we can still score goals,” Bechtel said. “Finding it early just feeds into that we can do it.”
Clear Fork got a third goal in the half from Curry off a throw in by Kelsey Carver.
“We just disconnected a little bit. Maybe we were a little amped up for this game. Clear Fork is a great team, so they always play hard and they always finish. We knew coming in we would have to play a really, really A-plus game,” Lexington coach Roxanne Drueschler said. “I can’t fault my girls effort. They played super hard and do a lot of the right things. We’re just one or two passes from really finishing in our offensive third. We’re improving ever game and that’s all we can ask for.”
Lexington played CF even in the second half, getting a goal from Morgan Eckstein 24 seconds into the half. Montana Walker scored the game’s final goal off a Curry corner kick with 17:24 left.
“We have a lot of depth,” Bechtel said. “I have 23 girls on varsity and with that comes a competitive edge to people.”