Seniors leading the way for Greenon girls soccer team

Cutline: Greenon High School senior Hallie Gilley and Catholic Central junior Emily DeWitt run after the ball during their game on Monday night at Greenon Stadium. The Knights won 5-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER
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Cutline: Greenon High School senior Hallie Gilley and Catholic Central junior Emily DeWitt run after the ball during their game on Monday night at Greenon Stadium. The Knights won 5-0. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

SPRINGFIELD — With a strong group of underclassmen, the Greenon High School girls soccer program turned to their senior class to lead the way.

The Knights three seniors — Hallie Gilley, Morgan Paulus and Emma Schumann — have delivered in a big way.

“They’re just complete players,” said Greenon coach Jamie Minteer. “They’re fit, they’re physical, they’re technically sound and tactically sound. They can just battle with the best. They’ve set the bar high and the freshmen have been a fantastic group to groom. The chemistry has been fantastic.”

The Knights are 11-0 and 6-0 in the Ohio Heritage Conference, one game ahead of Greeneview (5-1) and one-and-a-half games ahead of Fairbanks (4-1). Greenon earned back-to-back 5-0 wins over Catholic Central and Northeastern earlier this week.

“We’ve worked really hard on our fitness,” Minteer said. “The foundation of our program is our technical abilities, being incredibly comfortable with the ball at our feet. Our main focus has been on possession. We talk a lot about keeping the ball and building out of the back. We talk a lot about being dynamic in the attacking third, whether that’s keeping possession and finding quality shots or serving (teammates). We want to get better every time we step onto the field.”

The Knights three seniors all have unique styles that make them more dynamic when brought together, Minteer said.

Gilley leads the team with 25 goals and is tied for first with 10 assists.

“She really thinks about what she needs to get done in the next game,” Minteer said. “It’s always her teammates first and how can she complement whatever the focus is that week whether we’re focusing on possession or attacking 1 v. 1. Whatever strategy we’re going after, she prepares differently than what I’ve had with other players.”

Schumann has scored four goals with one assist this season.

“Nothing gets past her and she wins every ball in the air,” Minteer said. “She’s just outstanding in the air and she can take quality shots from outside the (18-yard box). She’s really been a threat from the midfield.”

Paulus is tied for the team lead with 10 assists and has scored six goals.

“She can run all day,” Minteer said. “She compliments Hallie because they usually play on the left side together. She’s a smart player who’s very technical and fantastic at combinational play.”

While each group is different, what sets this year’s squad apart is that they never give up, Minteer said. The Knights trailed Celina 1-0 at the half and scored four second-half goals to earn a dramatic 4-3 victory.

“We try every single game we go into to play our game,” Minteer said. “We try not to focus on what we think they’re going to do. We focus on what we know we can do. A lot of times at halftime if we have to make an adjustment, they just execute like no other team I’ve ever coached. When you give them a task, they execute it. There’s not a lot of thought about it. They just execute.”

The Knights are seeking their first Ohio Heritage Conference championship since joining the conference in 2018. Greenon last won a league title in 2016, bringing home the Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division title.

Next week, the Knights host Division III 11th-ranked Fairbanks on Tuesday and travel to Greeneview on Thursday with the league title on the line.

“It definitely makes the season fun,” Minteer said. “I have a lot of respect for both coaches. … It’ll definitely be a fun competition come next week.”

The Knights also hope to get one of the top seeds in the upcoming D-III tournament draw.

“With the wins we’ve had, I definitely think a 3-4 seed is what I’d like to see for us, but we’ll see what happens,” Minteer said.

Girls Soccer

Shawnee High School sophomore Lillian Weller had three goals and an assist and senior Megan Kelly added two goals as the Braves beat Graham on Monday to improve to 10-2 overall and 6-0 in the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division title.

Braves senior Dani Ross had two assists and Raegan Howdyshell added another as Shawnee remained in first place in the CBC Kenton Trail.

Girls Tennis

Northwestern singles player Macy Yeager and the Warriors doubles team of junior Leah Fraker and sophomore Taylor Errett each went 2-0 at the Division II sectional tournament on Tuesday in Troy, qualifying for next week’s D-II district tournament at the ATP Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.

The semifinals and finals will be held on Saturday morning in Troy.

Volleyball

Kenton Ridge senior Alivia Lemen had 16 digs and junior Samantha Fincham had 16 kills as the Cougars beat rival Northeastern 25-23, 15-25, 26-24, 27-25 on Monday. Cougars junior Hannah Staats and sophomore Emerson Coulter each had 10 kills for Kenton Ridge (9-6).