Here is a capsule preview of the girls soccer teams in the Portage Trail Conference for the 2013 season, compiled by Record-Courier staff writer Colin Harris:
CRESTWOOD RED DEVILS
Coach: Marc Streem, 128-77-26 overall record.
2012 Record: 3-11-4 overall, 1-4-1 PTC Metro.
Returning Letterwinners: Julia Krause, Karley Meikle, Sydney Nemec, Lindsey Soltisz, Melissa Soltisz, Lindsay Thut, Bella Wagner, Amber Gibbons, Makenna Delgado, Kathleen Murray, Rosalie Novotny, Stacey Larch and Kaitlin Slaker.
Letterwinners Lost: Holly Rodgers, Kristen Jackson and Makenzie Faust.
Team Outlook: Crestwood was a young team last year and head coach Marc Streem said that fact remains for this season.
"We remain a very young team as last season, we often started six freshmen," Streem said. "This year, we may start as many as eight freshmen and sophomores, but the sophomores will have a year of varsity playing experience. So while we remain young, we are a little older and more experienced."
Crestwood adds junior goalkeeper Nikki Nero, who Streem said will provide depth and may allow him to use last year's keeper Lindsay Thut's speed on the field. The addition of freshman Ashley Prater will help the defense, which is led by All-Metro First-Team selection Lindsey Soltisz, as well as Karley Meikle and Kathleen Murray.
Sophomore Sydney Nemec brings pace up top or to the outside, while captain Kaitlin Slaker is recovering from foot surgery. The rest of the offense will be led by senior Stavey Larch, sophomores Melissa Soltisz, Bella Wagner and Julia Krause, as well as junior captain Nakenna Delgado.
Ronie Schweickert, Isabel Hysing and Amber Gibbons will all split time in the midfield, while the versatility of junior captain Rosie Novotny allows her to be used all over the field and play different positions based on game needs.
Cause for Concern: "Our overall numbers remain low, with only 23 players on the roster, so that makes it very difficult to play a full JV schedule and develop players," Streem said. "We are still a very young team with only three seniors on our roster, so we are at a disadvantage against older, more physically mature teams. "
Reason for Optimism: "I think that there are some very good soccer players on this squad and they are improving every day," Streem said. "I love their energy, enthusiasm and willingness to work hard."
League Outlook: "Kent Roosevelt has a new coach, but he did a great job with the Field boys and he has a very talented group of girls at Roosevelt, so I think they have to be considered the team to beat in the Metro," Streem said. "Field has a very strong group of seniors, and I think they will also be a very solid team. Ravenna was young like we were last season, and I expect that they will also be more experienced this year. Norton and Coventry always seem to be very consistent and they always field solid teams. I expect a lot of close games this year, but I don't know if anyone will be able to handle Roosevelt."
Coach: Chris Lemmo (30-32-8 career record).
2012 Record: 9-6-3 overall, 3-0-3 PTC Metro.
Returning Letterwinners: Ashley Calcei, Megan Francis, Sarah Francis, Jolyn McGarvey, Sydney Noveske, Mackenzie Dunlap, Paige Peachey, Morgan Sott, Rachel Stormer, Megan Walker, Sydney Wilson, Bailey Woodyard and Maddie Sollers.
Letterwinners Lost: Mikayla Coury, Emma Gainer, Savannah Gearhart, Leandra Griffin and Kaitlin Morris.
Team Outlook: Field is coming off of the best season in school history, including a share of the program's first-ever league championship.
Falcons head coach Chris Lemmo said his team's mission this year is to keep that arrow pointed in the right direction. Players like senior forward Sarah Francis and senior midfielder Megan Francis, who are identical twin sisters, give him hope that a better season is an attainable goal.
"We had the best season in school history last year, and we hope to continue that success this year," Lemmo said. "We have a good senior class as the core of our team and many of our juniors gained valuable experience last year as sophomores, so we hope that translates into winning close games.
"We have a few freshmen and sophomores who have a chance to contribute on the Varsity team as well," Lemmo added.
Cause for Concern: "We can't let last year's success go to our heads," Lemmo admitted. "We have to work even harder to try to compete for the league title this year."
Reason for Optimism: "We gained a lot of experience in close, intense games last year, and we think that will help us as we face a tough schedule this year," Lemmo said.
League Outlook: This year will be intense because there are only five league games," Lemmo said. "So each one is important and each one will be highly competitive."
Coach: Joe Denzinger (46-50-9).
2012 Record: 9-8-1 overall, 4-3-1 PTC County.
Returning Letterwinners: Megan Kenesky, Emma Twardzik, Emma Harvey, Abbey Woolard, Maddison Geddes, Julia Layer, Alicia Witty, Caytlin Armstrong.
Letterwinners Lost: Julia Hayes, Megan Hadzinsky, Jackie Tabor, Alexa Frieberg, Mariah Armstrong, Laurna Curby, Kaylynn Enzman.
Team Outlook: Garfield loses a number of productive players from last year's team, including All-County First-Team selection Jackie Tabor. Regardless, head coach Joe Denzinger said he feels the G-Men can remain in the hunt for a County Division title.
"Our team will be very young, but we have strong leadership from forward Megan Kenesky and midfielder Emma Twardzik," Denzinger said. "Strong support will come from other forward Caytlin Armstrong."
Denzinger said he is still hoping for two of his young midfielders to step up and provide production as the season gets underway.
Cause for Concern: Denzinger said that the G-Men's young defense has him concerned.
Reason for Optimism: Despite losing seven letterwinnners, Garfield returns eight others and a number of young players have Denzinger excited for the team's potential.
League Outlook: "We're looking to be in the running (for the County Division)," Denzinger said.
KENT ROOSEVELT ROUGH RIDERS
Coach: Curtis Ahrens (11-4-2 overall record).
2012 Record: 9-6-4 overall, 3-0-3 PTC Metro.
Returning Letterwinners: Melisha Vaugh, Emma Sampson, Katherine Mohnacky, Audra Grimm, Carly Evans, Maya Davis, Dawn Ceccardi, Haley Stuver, Sierra Glass, Justina Fortson, Elaine Britt and Darcy Kreiner.
Letterwinners Lost: Libby Bradford, Audrey Coyne, Mackenzie Gurley, Emily Jarvie and India Pringle.
Team Outlook: Former Field boys coach Curtis Ahrens has been a teacher in the Kent School District for a number of years, and the departure of former Roosevelt coach Leslie Mann left a talented Rough Riders program behind.
Roosevelt loses Co-Player of the Year Libby Bradford, but they do return talent like senior midfielder Hailey Stuver, senior defender Sierra Glass and senior forward Justina Fortson.
"We are led by a very large and talented senior class that has lots of experience and composure," Ahrens said. "On top of the senior leadership, we also have some extremely talented freshmen and sophomore coming up. Our strength as a team is our depth."
Cause for Concern: "At this time, the only concern would be keeping all our players healthy for a whole season," Ahrens said.
Reason for Optimism: "We have a tremendous amount of depth as we enter the season," Ahrens said. "Not only are our players very talented, they are also extremely knowledgeable of the game."
League Outlook: "We look to earn our fifth straight PTC Metro championship, though we know there are some very talented teams in our league, particularly Field and Norton," Ahrens said.
Coach: Kim Pischera (2nd season, 1-11).
2012 Record: 1-11-3 overall.
Returning Letterwinners: Makayla Starks, Angelina Trenter, Ciara Rich, Erica Thomas, Claire Billinghurst, Harley Ricker, Kaitlyn Tirpak, Celeste Gilbow, Morgan Cipriano.
Letterwinners Lost: Kathy Kornbau, Savana Rosalez.
Team Outlook: The Ravens were a young team in 2012, but those players that saw action gained valuable experience that head coach Kim Pischera hopes can transform the program this season.
"We have strong, mature players who are willing to work together as a whole team," Pischera said.
Leading the team are captains Makayla Starks (senior midfielder), Angelina Trenter (senior forward), Erica Thomas (junior defender), Ciara Rich (junior forward) and Harley Ricker (junior goalkeeper).
"The captains have already taken the lead at this approach of team unity," Pischera said.
Cause for Concern: "Every coach's concern is having to worry about injuries," Pischera said. "We worked on areas for players to stay healthy and fit through the season earlier this year in our conditioning."
Reason for Optimism: Pischera hopes her once young team will evolve into a strong, talented team that will be complemented by solid reserves.
League Outlook: "We look forward to improving on our league record," Pischera said.
Coach: Ken Moss (2nd season, 12-6-3).
2012 Record: 12-6-3 overall, 5-3-0 PTC County.
Returning Letterwinners: Maggie Durbak, Madison Hartung, Jacqueline Moss, Jazzmine Hardges, Rachel Park, Annie Boyle, Shanley Furness, Trezla Nunemaker and Jasmine Kemp.
Letterwinners Lost: Kaylee Consolo, Jordan Mizer, Amanda Savage, Kalli Dreger, Breanna Martin, Monica Rowles, Amanda Huth, Katelin Kays and Morgan Revels.
Team Outlook: Rootstown loses a ton of talent off of its 2012, district championship team, including First Teamers Jordan Miller and Kaylee Consolo.
However, Rootstown coach Ken Moss is confident that there is plenty of talent left in the cupboards to make another run at a league title in 2013.
"Even though we lost nine seniors, we are very positive about our prospects for the 2013 season," Moss said.
Rootstown will rely on the defensive leadership of senior keeper Madison Hartung, while sophomore forward Jasmine Kemp can hurt defenses with her speed and ability to get behind back lines. Senior midfielder Jacqueline Moss will combine with a talented group of midfielders in junior Annie Boyle and senior Toni Dickinson.
Cause for Concern: "The loss of our season and probably career leading scorer Kaylee Consolo is a concern," Moss said. "We will need to find a center back pair to replace Jordan Mizer and Amanda Savage, who led a defense that did not allow a goal in the 2012 district tournament."
Reason for Optimism: "We have a very talented nucleus of midfield players that inspire those around them to raise their level of play," Moss said. "The defensive players are sorting out their roles and learning to work together.
"While scoring maybe a question with the loss of Consolo, in the first two games we have already put four different names in the goal section of the boxscore," Moss added.
League Outlook: "The goals for 2013 are the same as 2012," Moss said. "We want to defend and secure the PTC title, then prepare for an exciting post season tournament."
Coach: Dean Dunlavy (19th season, 5-7-5 overall, 2-4-2 PTC County).
Returning Letterwinners: Jillian Fesemyer, Victoria Angel, Kayla Stull, Samantha Zeigler, Josey Wheeler, Claire Santoro, Jordan Danes, Shelby Ernsberger, Paige Habowski, Katie Petridis and Loren Coontz
Letterwinners Lost: Teeny Wassam, Emily Klouda, McKayla Munger, Morgan Kainrad, Marissa Rotilie and Kara Crowe.
Team Outlook: Southeast loses six seniors from last year's team, but will replace those played with 10 freshmen, including two or three who may become starters.
"We have had commitment from the girls during the off-season, and we look to compete for the league title," Southeast head coach Dean Dunlavy said.
Senior forward Jillian Fesemyer leads Southeast's attack as a four-year starter and last year Fesemyer had 12 goals and five assists. Senior defender Victoria Angel is strong on defense, but she can create some offense out of the back.
Junior defender Kayla Stull reads the game well, according to Dunlavy, and can shoot the ball, while sophomore midfielder Loren Coontz will direct the midfield with her passing ability and defense. Sophomore forward Katie Petridis and freshman forward Erin Fisher will help create offense this year.
Cause for Concern: Dunlavy said that his biggest concern this year is what would happen if his team was unable to remain healthy.
Reason for Optimism: "The girls are working hard with a great attitude," Dunlavy said. "We have talent this year, but they are eager to get better at practice. There is also a nice mix of experience and youth on the team."
League Outlook: "Last year, Waterloo and Rootstown both won district titles," Dunlavy said. "All teams lost many quality seniors with three or four teams losing their leading scorer. Whoever can replace those seniors the best will win the title. The league is wide open and we look to contend for the title."
Coach: Ryan Willard.
2012 Record: 7-10 overall, 0-6 PTC Metro.
Returning Letterwinners: Elizabeth Nichols, Tasha Gill, Amber Glenn, Alison Targosky, Devon Klein, Tara Crouso, Auliah Kendall, Ewelina Siwik, Melissa Wilkinson, Corrine Braynard, Lauren Swim, Hannah Schuller, Taylor Donovan and Alaina Fischer.
Letterwinners Lost: Aubrey Stewart, Mercedes Swires and Louisa Gorries.
Team Outlook: After a 7-10 season last year and a winless 0-6 mark in the Metro Division, Rockets coach Ryan Willard said he is looking forward to the 2013 campaign, which will feature a return to the County Division.
"This is an exciting year for Streetsboro girls soccer," Willard said. "We had the most wins we've ever had since I started coaching here, and we have nine starters returning from that team."
Willard said his team will have its work cut out for it with a more challenging schedule, but the base he has to work with excites him.
Junior forward Alison Targosky and Auliah Kendall are back after leading the Rockets in scoring in 2012, while junior assist leader Amber Glenn is also back. Willard said he is also expecting strong leadership from senior captains Tasha Gill and Elizabeth Nichols.
Cause for Concern: "Despite having a lot of returning players, our depth is young and inexperienced," Willard said. "We'll need several of those girls to step up and fill important roles this year."
Reason for Optimism: "Returning so many starters, especially on offense, is the obvious answer," Willard said. "I think, even more importantly, is that we were so young last year defensively. That unit should take a significant step forward this year."
League Outlook: "We are moving to the County Division," Willard said. "Since we did not play those teams last year, I don't know fully what to expect. I know Waterloo and Rootstown made it to the final 16 of the state tournament, so the County will be no cake walk."
Coach: John Irvine (58-22-12 career record).
2012 Record: 11-5-3 overall, 4-3-1 PTC County .
Returning Letterwinners: Mackenzie Sparks, Rachael DeAngelis, Lauren Hinkle, Lallory Moss, Nicholle Rogers, Bre Tokar, Shelby Nicely, Rebecca Baumbick, Leah Hermann, Ericka CashAutumn Davis and Brianna Ellsworth.
Letterwinners Lost: Emmy Jenior, Miranda Bennett, Michaela Wise, Rylie Clause, Anna DeAngelis, Loni Gregory and Ally Schlagenhauser.
Team Outlook: Waterloo graduates 90 percent of its offense from last year's team, as well as three defensive starters, so there are a number of new faces on this year's team.
On the bright side, there is a great deal of talent returning, including junior midfielder Mackenzie Sparks, senior forward Bre Tokar, junior goalkeeper Brianna Ellsworth and senior defenseman Autumn Davis.
Cause for Concern: "Basically, the Vikings will field a new team," Waterloo coach John Irvine said. "Players will have to be learning new positions for us."
Reason for Optimism: "Ellsworth has become an accomplished goalkeeper," Irvine said. "Sparks works nonstop and Tokar is a really dangerous player for us."
League Outlook: "Woodridge should be strong, as well as Rootstown," Irvine said.
Coach: Jason Allenspach (95-61-28).
2012 Record: 6-9-1 overall, 3-5-1 PTC County.
Returning Letterwinners: 6.
Letterwinners Lost: 9.
Team Outlook: Woodridge coach Jason Allenspach said he is looking to have a very young team, with five starters being freshmen.
Freshman sweeper Sydnee Shumaker will be joined by fellow freshmen midfielders Allison Schmeltzer, Mackenzie Mercer and Gracey Radwany.
Allenspach said he is looking for a big sophomore season from forward Aamizah Howard, as well as midfielder Bella Haas and defenseman/midfielder, Sophia Foreman.
"Early preseason injuries have put the us up against the wall," Allenspach said. "Our hope is that those injuries can be overcome, and we can finish out the season at full strength."
Cause for Concern: "We are a young team with a few key injuries right now," Allenspach said.
Reason for Optimism: "We have young players with nice skill and a knowledge of the game," Allenspach said. "I think we have great potential."
League Outlook: "The league should be extremely competitive," Allenspach said. "Two teams last fall (Waterloo and Rootstown) made it to the regional semis and one to district semis. Adding a strong Streetsboro squad will make for a challenging County Division."
Facebook: Colin Harris, Record-Courier