Soccer squad intends to shine
Posted August 22, 2012
In her second season as soccer coach at Columbus School for Girls, Mindy Hammond finds herself in an unusual position. Her team is younger, but she also believes it's better.
"I have 11 freshmen, quite a few of which will have a lot of minutes for the varsity program," said Hammond, whose team opened Aug. 21 by playing host to Grandview. "Last year was definitely a big rebuilding year for us, but this year we'll be a completely different team. We'll be a lot more competitive."
The Unicorns finished 3-13 last season, losing to Fisher Catholic 3-0 in the first round of the Division III district tournament. Hammond, however, found positives despite the overall record.
"I really wanted to teach them the game and to understand the positions," she said. "There was a lot of learning and teaching going on, and I think that's going to benefit us this year. We didn't have to go over that as much. They know exactly how to play the game."
Forwards on this year's team include seniors Helen Gianakopoulos and Jasneet Singh, junior Lindsay Hester, sophomore Quinn Walters and freshman Alyssa Sugar.
The midfield includes junior Olivia Beeson, who scored a team-high seven goals last season.
Others in the midfield include seniors Morgan Craig and Alex Rafter and freshman Maddie Ostrowski.
Freshmen Andrea Presper and Eleanor Smith are both outside midfielders.
The defense features juniors Kellie Carlson and Leah Glimcher, with freshman Maria Presper at sweeper.
Junior Mo Ruff, a defender, is injured but expected to return in late August.
Another defender, sophomore Kameron Millner, also is coming off an injury -- she sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament playing basketball -- and is easing back into action.
Last year's starting goaltender, senior Jordan Nielsen, moved to Virginia. Hammond has been training converted defender Olivia Feldman, a freshman, to take over in goal.
"I think what's great is we're going to have some good inner-competition with the talent we have," Hammond said. "The freshmen are nipping at the underclassmen's heels.
"They all get along really well and are receiving the freshmen really well. They know they're going to help the team. They're taking them under their wing and getting after it. They've done a great job at conditioning and this team seems a lot more focused."
Evidence that things are improving is a recent scrimmage against Lancaster, which defeated the Unicorns 4-1 last season.
"We beat them in a scrimmage," Hammond said, "so they're just a lot further ahead than what we were last year at this point. As much as last year was a big struggle, I think it also is something that we went through that they definitely learned a lot from, and it'll carry over to this year."
Competing in the CCL, which includes defending Division II state champion DeSales, an improving Hartley squad and Division I Watterson, can be a challenge, Hammond said.
The Unicorns were 0-4 in the CCL last season, finishing behind DeSales (4-0), Watterson (3-1) and Ready and Hartley (both 1-2-1). They open CCL play Sept. 8 against Watterson at home.
"It's a tough league for us," Hammond said. "We're in Division III. We're a little out of our league, but it's good for us to experience that kind of good competition."
Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Columbus School for Girls cross country, golf, tennis and volleyball teams:
Aug. 21 -- Home vs. Big Walnut
Aug. 25 -- Newark Catholic Invitational
Aug. 29 -- Canal Winchester Invitational
Aug. 13 -- Finished 17th (491) in 17-team Gahanna Invitational at Jefferson, behind champion Dublin Jerome (304)
Aug. 15 -- Did not have enough golfers for a team score in quad match at Blacklick Woods, won by Wellington (422). Krystina Garabis shot a 92.
Aug. 16 -- Lost to Wellington 420-436 at Glenross. Garabis shot an 85.
Aug. 17 -- Lost to Centerburg 192-225 (nine holes) at Table Rock. Garabis shot a 43.
Aug. 18 -- Finished sixth (421) in six-team Division II MOGGL tournament at The Links of Echo Springs, behind champion Centerburg (379)
Aug. 21 -- Competed against Pickerington Central
Aug. 25 -- MOGGL tournament at Blacklick Woods
Aug. 27 -- Lancaster at Blacklick Woods
Aug. 28 -- DeSales at Little Turtle
Aug. 13 -- Lost to North Canton Hoover 4-1 in opener
Aug. 16 -- Lost to Olentangy Liberty 3-2
Aug. 18 -- Finished sixth (16) in eight-team CSG Doubles Invitational, behind champion Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (25)
Aug. 23 -- At Reynoldsburg
Aug. 25 -- Watterson Invitational
*Aug. 28 -- Home vs. Ready in CCL opener
Aug. 25 -- Marysville Invitational
*Aug. 28 -- At Watterson in CCL opener