The Wilmington High School girls soccer team finished first in the Xenia preseason tournament this past weekend, WHS coach Kerry Lewis reported.
Wilmington and Marietta tied for first overall with 29 points but the Lady Hurricane “took home the finalist trophy due to tiebreaker procedures,” Lewis said.
Wilmington’s pool play consisted of matches against Blanchester, Bellefontaine, Springfield Catholic Central and Marietta. WHS defeated Blanchester, Bellefontaine and Catholic Central but lost to Marietta in pool play. The match against Marietta was shortened to 35 minutes because of an injured player, Lewis said.
“We made tremendous strides and progress throughout the weekend,” said Lewis. “We got better every game. Missing upwards of six varsity players due to vacations and injury, we took a very young squad to Xenia. The freshmen and sophomores really stepped up.”
Lewis said returning captains junior Katlyn Jamiel and seniors Bridgette Thompson and Savannah Morgan played well for Wilmington. Contributions also were made by newcomers Ashley Tissot, sophomore defender; Claire Greenlees and Michelle Huffman, sophomore midfielders; and Pepper Cantwell, junior. Huffman had two goals.
Lewis said the freshman class “was a pleasant surprise this weekend” with significant playing time going to Jasmine Jamiel, Anna Borton, Rachel Barker and Sophie Burt.
“Jasmine flashed her speed and athleticism as anticipated, scoring four goals and two assists from the striker position,” said Lewis. “However, Sophie surprised everyone with her outstanding performance at center-back paired with returning sophomore and fellow center-back Jenna Victor. We knew Jenna was prepared to play a major role defensively, but to see her teamwork and instant chemistry with Sophie was fantastic. We also shifted returning sophomore midfielder Olivia Lewis to outside-back to help shore up our already young back line.”
With Burt and Victor playing well as central defenders, WHS was able to move Katlyn Jamiel to center-mid where she dominated play, Lewis added.
After the opening match, Wilmington coaches “challenged” Morgan to increase her movement off the ball and “push the freshmen and sophomores to raise their level of play,” said Lewis. Morgan responded and so did her teammates creating constant pressure and ongoing havoc for the opponents, Lewis said.
Lewis noted one goal in the tournament. “We were really finding our rhythm by the third game when Blan took a quality shot on our goal, but senior keeper Lyla Self fielded the shot cleanly and quickly distributed the ball out wide. Kate took two quality touches at midfield before hitting a perfect through ball to Jasmine on our offensive third. Jazz also took two quick touches and struck a left-footed rocket into the back of the net. The full-pitch counter attack took less than 10 seconds. It was high quality soccer, especially for mid-July.”
Statistically, Morgan finished with four goals and four assists, Jasmine Jamiel had four goals and two assists, Katlyn Jamiel had two goals and three assists, Michelle Huffman had two goals and two assists; Lyla Self one assist, Bridgette Thompson three assists.