Soccer teams ready for season

PREBLE COUNTY — The county’s girls soccer teams have the ability to put together some of their best seasons in recent years. The season began over the weekend and here’s what the coaches are saying about the upcoming season.


Coach’s name: Michael Bacher

Number of years as coach at current school: 3rd

Last season’s record: 5-13

“I am very excited about the 12 incoming Freshman. We are going to build off our 5-13 season last year. We are steadily improving each season. I have added coach (Kevin) Schaeffer and Coach (Allison) Thompson,” Bacher said.

Returning seniors are Kate Bulach and Chelsea Cruze. Also, playing once again senior Taylor Brooks.

“Kate has a cannon for a foot, and has the green light, anywhere on the field. I need her to be active and be a strong leader. Chelsea has improved and will be strong defender and Taylor is our possession player,” Bacher said.

Bacher said junior Emily Dungan is learning the dynamic runs of soccer. Her motor never stops. We will rely on her and Kate for our playmaking

Junior Tyler Pitman is as strong as ever. She usually plays stopper. but will be playing midfield as well, great command on the field.

Ashlynn Black has improved at goalie and has already grabbed attention from other coaches in scrimmages. Anna Black has came back to play as another strong scoring option as well as Isabelle Trader. Sophomore Gabrielle Petry is poised to bolster the back line.

Sophmore Taylor Roth will help us to transition from defense to offense and her shot has improved dramatically.

New players to push the upperclassmen are freshman Madison Fugate, Kylee Kidwell, and Kendal Combs.

“(The) culture is changing here at Eaton with our accountability and overall character. We are learning to keep things simple, play direct, and pounce on counter attacks. Our runs are coming more dynamic,” Bacher said. “Over the years, we’ve been straight forward and straight back, that is finally starting to change.”

National Trail

Head coach: Levi Brubaker

Number of years as coach at current school: 1st

Last season’s record: 4-8-3 (0-5-1 Cross County Conference)

The Blazers return five seniors from a team that won four games last season.

This year’s seniors are:

Erika Gallaher – Center Defense team voted team Captain, leader on the field.

Katie Buehner – Outside Defense and Midfielder, a well rounded utility player.

Rachel Ray – Center Forward, team captain, motivated and vocal.

Chloe Anderson – Right Defense, team captain, great at helping teach the underclass

Ruth Wellman – Center midfield, she is ruthless Ruth, can move the ball and guide it right where you need it


Paige Kowarsch – New starting goalie that we expect lots of saves from.

Sara Norton – Potential to be a great utility player.

“New to the league, but think we can improve on last season,” Brubaker said. “I don’t think a .500 season is out of the question. We are excited to be a part of this great group of talented young woman and great program.”

Preble Shawnee

Coach’s name: Jeff Stiver

Number of year’s as coach at current school: 1st

Last season’s record: 12-2-2 (District runner-up)

Returning starters: Ashton Collins (Sr), outside back, steady and experienced; Saylor Jewell (Sr), forward, leading scorer the last three years and one of the leading scorers in the area; Olivia Rader (Sr), center back, quick and experienced in the back; Alyssa Davidson (Sr), forward, strong player and second leading scorer last season; Abby Bulach (Jr), center midfielder, excellent on the ball; Bailey Downard (Jr), central midfielder, strong player on the ball; Brenna Woodard (Jr), plays several positions very effectively and Nicole Sims and Jenna Lovely both juniors who both play outside midfield and do a wonderful job at it.

“These girls just mentioned are all returning starters. Logan Hollon saw extensive varsity action last year as a defender and will play central defender for us this season. I am looking for big contributions from Cami Hollon and Mariah Wilson,” Sitver said. “Cami was a swing player last year and has looked real solid in the preseason, Mariah is a fast strong girl who has not played in a couple of years but I look for her to add that speed and strength to our defense.”

Stiver said his team will play a scheduled full of solid teams.

“We play a difficult schedule, but I still look for us to have a strong season,” he said. “With the likes of Waynesville (twice), Milton Union (twice), Lehman Catholic, Troy Christian and Cin. Country Day, who was Division III state runner ups last season.”

Tri-County North

Coach: Ted Thies

Number of year’s coaching at current school: 1st (But Thies has coached most of these girls since they were 8)

He was was previously the Boys Varsity soccer coach at TCN for 3 years.

Last season’s record: 6-5-4 (2-4 Cross County Conference)

The team consists of eight seniors, three juniors and four sophomores.

“We will start seven seniors, three juniors and a sophomore and rely heavily on our senior leadership,” Thies said.

The Panthers return two all-league selections — Hailey Thies (Sr), former all CCC and Preble County player of the year and Megan Hemp (Sr) all-CCC and all-County.

Also back are three very strong midfielders — Liv Baldasare (Sr), Taylor Green (Jr), Preston Lipinski (Jr).

The backline will be held together by seniors Hailey Stupp and Brooke Maleski.

Goalie will be Morgan Helman, who coach Thies is expecting big things out of.

“We are expecting to compete for a CCC title and to make a good run in the tournament,” the coach said. “We should be pretty strong barring injuries. We have limited numbers (15) but the ones we have can play.”

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Morgan Helman will be in the goal this season for Tri-County North. Helman will be in the goal this season for Tri-County North.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH