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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Malcolm Edge knows soccer.

The first-year Woodmore girls’ soccer coach, a native of Sheffield, England, started playing soccer at age 4. As a

 goalkeeper, he was signed to a professional schoolboy contract at 14.

With that background, Edge was smart enough to know he had to mold this year's Wildcats based on their strengths.

“Our team is based upon speed at all positions,” Edge said. “The hallmark of my team is, we play through midfield and get the ball through the channels to my center-forwards, and they've scored 51 goals between them. We control the ball at midfield and get the ball into the box as quickly as possible from the wings. We've got speed in abundance, so I knew going into this season I had to have a team built around speed and ball control.”

Woodmore, which improved to 11-2-1 with Tuesday's 6-4 win over Van Buren, hosts defending Suburban Lakes League champion Lake on Thursday. The Wildcats lost in a pouring rain at Lake, 1-0, on Sept. 16. The Flyers (11-0-1) also beat the 'Cats in the Division II sectional semifinals last season.

Edge, however, hopes his team learned a thing or two in its previous loss to Lake. The Wildcats learned their lesson in two meetings against Genoa this season. Woodmore lost to the visiting Comets 2-1 on Sept. 9, but beat Genoa 3-2 on the road last Saturday.

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Alexis Donnelly and her Clay soccer teammates were just starting to get a handle on what kind of team they were going to have this season when, in the blink of an eye, the Eagles' fortunes changed.

On Sept. 15, against St. Ursula Academy at Sanderson Field, Donnelly suffered a season-ending ACL injury. The injury occurred with just eight seconds left in the game, which Clay lost 6-1.

“We took a huge blow,” coach Scott Wamer said. “Alexis was playing phenomenal this year and she was being looked at by a lot of Division II schools. She was the heart and soul of our team.”

Wamer said that Donnelly, a striker and team captain who was leading the team with four goals and five assists, is doing relatively well in dealing with yet another setback. Two years ago she battled Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system.

“She'll bounce back,” Wamer said. “She's a very mature young lady and she's going to be very successful.”

Kendyl Christian, a sophomore midfielder, moved into Donnelly's striker position and has six goals and two assists in 14 games.

“Kendyl started out a little slow,” Wamer said. “She was hampered by a pulled quad, but she's come on pretty strong since we lost Alexis. She's stepped up and really kind of put the burden on her shoulders to get things going offensively.”

With two regular

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At the start of the 2010 campaign, Clay head football coach Mike Donnelly had aspirations of winning seven games, and getting Clay a long awaited playoff berth.

However, things haven't gone as planned for the Eagles, losers in three of their last four games, and it appears that the Eagles will fall short of their lofty goals.

The first case of heartbreak came during week 2 at home. The Eagles controlled the game much of the way, only to be beaten by Perrysburg with 8 seconds left on a Matt Slocum touchdown pass. The Eagles then pulled off a big 17-14 win at Springfield, despite being outgained 343-250 in total offense. Waite came ready to play and punched Clay in the jaw in front of the home town fans in week 4, reclaiming the Oil Barrel Trophy for the first time since 2005.  And then in week 6, it looked like Clay was ready to turn things around after a big offensive performance in a 29-13 win at Start High School.  But that has not been the case.

Now in week 8, coming off of two tough tests against the City League's fiercest forces--Central Catholic and Whitmer--Clay will look to rebound on the road against another City League power, St. John's Jesuit.

With the exception of a 49-24 thrashing on the road at Whitmer in week 5, the Titans have performed  well this season and they will improve on their win total from last season, a season in which they finished 6-4, and be in prime position to compete for a playoff berth.

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