Local Sports

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Girls Soccer: Van Buren captures second consecutive NCOSA crown
RAWSON -- When opposing teams are playing the Van Buren girls soccer team, most know about the terrific trio of seniors Kayla Sonnenberg and Kristin Tropf and sophomore Nichole Miller.

But with so much attention being paid to those three players -- they combined for 59 goals and 42 assists in 2011 -- other goal-scorers have stepped up.

Cory-Rawson found that out Wednesday as seven Van Buren players scored in its 9-0 win over the Hornets which gave the Black Knights their second straight North Central Ohio Soccer Association championship.

Sonnenberg and Miller each scored twice and Taylor Gilliland, Bri Lasley, Gabbi McCracken, Morgan Flick and Michaela Conkle also found the net.

Van Buren (12-4-0, 6-0-0 NCOSA), which scored five first half goals against the wind, has won nine of its last 10 games.

"Looking at this year, we knew we had a good team but not necessarily as good as last year," Van Buren coach Tom Piccirillo said. "So there was a lot of enjoyment taking the league this year."

One reason the Black Knights have had success is because of the goalkeeping of Rachel Wymer (two saves) and Hannah Bayer, who combined on a shutout Wednesday.

"We took two players and made them into goalkeepers," Piccirillo said. "With the exception of the start of the year, we have given up less goals than we did last year."

Sonnenberg, Tropf and Miller are still effective for Van Buren, but the Black Knights have received great offensive support from Gilliland's scoring and McCracken's passing.

"It is difficult on opposing teams because we have so many weapons out there," Piccirillo said. "If they concentrate on one or two, the others can beat you, too.

"It's definitely a coaches dream when you don't have to rely on one player.

Natasha Shields made eight saves for Cory-Rawson (3-11-1, 1-4-0).

van buren 9, cory-rawson 0

goals: (VB) Nichole Miller & Kayla Sonnenberg 2, Taylor Gilliland, Bri Lasley, Gabbi McCracken, Morgan Flick & Michaela Conkle 1. Assists: (VB) Kristen Tropf 2, Laura Endicott, Lasley, McCracken & Abbi Shroll 1. shots-on-goal: Van Buren 17, Cory-Rawson 2. saves: (VB) Rachel Wymer 2, Hannah Bayer 0; (C-R) Natasha Shields 8.

records: Van Buren 12-4-0 overall, 6-0-0 North Central Ohio Soccer Association; Cory-Rawson 3-11-1, 1-4-0.

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