The Columbus North girls soccer team is in a new sectional alignment this year, and the Bull Dogs will get a close look at a powerhouse newcomer to that sectional right out of the gate.
North will host Center Grove on Monday night at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex. The Trojans, along with Greenwood, Whiteland and Franklin, are new to the sectional, which will be hosted by Columbus East.
“Obviously, Center Grove is very strong, so that’s going to change the dynamics quite a bit,” North coach Derek Stewart said. “They’re a good team, but I think we can certainly give them a good game.”
The Bull Dogs lost 10 seniors, including six starters, from a team that went 13-3-4 and won sectional and regional titles before falling to eventual Class 2A state runner-up Brebeuf Jesuit in the semistate. The biggest loss is first-team All-State selection two-time The Republic Girls Soccer Player of the Year Addy Lang, who led North with 26 goals.
Junior Tanner Johnson, who scored 11 goals and earned All-Conference Indiana honors, returns at forward. Sophomore center midfielder Caroline Hollenkamp and senior goalkeeper Liz Tynan made honorable mention All-Conference.
Seniors Kristen and Corrine Orben are back at the outside midfield spots. Junior Elise Whitley returns at center back but could play in the midfield this season.
“We’re looking for some other players to step up,” Stewart said. “We have a lot of good chemistry right now.”
Junior Baleigh Drum, who missed much of last season with an injury, could play anywhere on the field, and senior Anna Andrews, who was injured at the end of last season, could play on defense or outside mid. Junior Christy DeDomenic also saw action in the midfield last season.
Freshman Kate Kolhouse at center back and Lauren Whitley at center mid or maybe forward could step into the lineup. Also pushing for spots are junior Morgan Blankenbaker on defense or at forward and junior Rose Sardina in the midfield or on defense.
Olympians coach Ilya Schwartzman feels he has 19 girls who could give him quality minutes this season.
“We definitely have more depth at all of the positions,” Schwartzman said. “We feel pretty comfortable with all of the people on the varsity as potential contributors at any given time.”
Seven starters return from a 9-8-1 team. Sophomore midfielder Lindsey Stoughton and senior center back Morgan Martindale were All-Hoosier Hills Conference selections, while senior forward Addy Galarno and junior forward Sarah Park made honorable mention All-HHC.
Junior Annie Bastain and sophomore Maya Federle and and Jaeda Berkemeier also return in the midfield. Sophomore Emily Stiles is back at outside back.
Junior Kamebry Wagner and Kristin Nelson and freshman Alana Dwenger will see action at forward. Sophomore Madelyn Rohlfs and senior Halle Acton will play in the midfield.
Junior Breiana Burton, freshman Hannah Hemmerlein, senior Elena Leddy and sophomore Mya Johnson could see action on defense. Senior Jenny Bastain and sophomore Karisma Parker likely will split time in goal.
“This is a very hard-working group, and it’s starting to come together,” Schwartzman said. “We have a very strong nucleus that came back, and we have a couple very strong freshmen that have come into their own. I think it’s going to be very exciting to see us play.”
The Panthers will look for a big season with nine starters back from a team that went 8-8-2.
Senior defensive mid Alexus Brown was a second-team All-District selection, and sophomore center back Baylee Byford made All-HHC. Sophomore Sonya Miller returns at at forward.
Senior Kilee Littrell was injured most of season, and will join sophomore Emily Montgomery at the outside mid spots. Junior Naomi Beal is back at attacking mid, and sophomore Katie Pappenheim returns at defensive mid.
Junior Callie Wilder is back at outside back, where she will be joined by sophomore Kerrigan Moore, senior Anna McDonald or senior Mariah Grider. Sophomore Kayla Pappenheim will play center back. Wilder, freshman Kenna Maschino or Grider will be in goal.
“I have a lot of flexibility with the lineup, so we can match up differently with different teams,” Jennings coach Kate Gray said. “If I can clear up this goalkeeper spot, we’ll compete in games. We’re doing some good things at practice right now, so hopefully, that will carry into the games.”
The Eagles will look for a winning season after going 5-9-2 last year.
Seven starters return, including sophomore forward Isabel Rygiel and senior outside mids Leah Tucker and Jasmine Imming. Junior Maggie Crimmins and senior Kathleen McCann are back at center back, and junior Skyler Fleischman remains in goal. Junior Maddy Westcott played several positions.
Seniors Faith Perry and Laura Sheckell could step in at midfield or forward, senior Emma Quackenbush could play on defense or in the midfield and senior Marissa Shuffit will play outside back. Sophomore Hannah Hummel will step in at center back.
“We have some strong defenders, so I’m not too concerned with our defense,” Brown County coach David Phelps said. “We have a lot of utility players that could play wherever. Our formation could be a lot different this year.”
The Cougars lost eight seniors and will have a small team with only 13 players.
Six starters do return, however, from a team that went 2-14. Senior Savannah Setty and junior Sydney Hoene are back at forward, and senior Lucy Cooper and junior Maddie Bell return at outside mid. Sophomore Emma Goecker moves from center back to center mid, and junior Vadalis Munez was a part-time starter in goal.
Freshman Flossie Cooper and sophomore Sara Hayes will step in at center back.
“I’ll have to develop some outside backs,” Trinity coach Jeff Nolting said. “I’m trying to strengthen the middle the best I can and go from there.”
2017 girls soccer schedules for Columbus East and Columbus North:
Wednesday;at Bloomington North;7 p.m.
Aug. 21;Bloomington South;7 p.m.
Aug. 26;Columbus North;8 p.m.
Aug. 29;Madison;7 p.m.
Sept. 1;at North Central Invitational;7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2;at North Central Invitational;9 p.m.
Sept. 5;at Bedford North Lawrence;7 p.m.
Sept. 7;at Batesville;7 p.m.
Sept. 9;at Floyd Central;6:30 p.m.
Sept. 12;at Jennings County;5:30 p.m.
Sept. 14;at Roncalli;7 p.m.
Sept. 16;New Albany;11 a.m.
Sept. 19;at Jeffersonville;7 p.m.
Sept. 23;at Center Grove Tournament;10 a.m.
Sept. 28;Seymour;7 p.m.
Monday;Center Grove;7 p.m.
Thursday;at Heritage Christian;7:30 p.m.
Aug. 19;at Lawrenceburg;11:30 a.m.
Aug. 23;Bloomington North;7:30 p.m.
Aug. 26;at Columbus East;8 p.m.
Aug. 30;at Franklin Central;7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2;Terre Haute South;12:30 p.m.
Sept. 6;Southport;7:30 p.m.
Sept. 13;Perry Meridian;7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16;at Terre Haute North;12:30 p.m.
Sept. 18;Bloomington South;7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20;East Central;7:30 p.m.
Sept. 26;at Batesville;7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30;at Franklin;11:30 a.m.