Comets hoping to hit their stride in the stretch run

By: 
Yaneek Smith

Press Sports Editor
sports@presspublications.com

With the regular season coming to a close, the Genoa girls soccer team is hoping to peak as the postseason is upon us.
Currently, the Comets, under the guidance of Josiah Hanson, are in the midst of a good season, one that has them at 7-4-1 and 3-2 in the Northern Buckeye Conference.
“We have already passed our win mark from last year,” said Hanson. “We’re a very young team with only two seniors but have had a great season passing expectations so far.”
Those two seniors are forward Tristan Szych and backup goalie Averi Hemmert. Szych has two goals and nine assists and Hemmert has nine saves.
“With us being a very young team, our expectations were to be competitive in every game, along with improving as the season goes on. I think that we have accomplished that so far. There are a couple of games that we wish we could have back, but that could be said for almost any team in high school sports,” said Hanson. “I am very proud of all 21 players in this group. They show up to practice every day ready to go and have a love for each other that carries over into games. They want each other to be successful and that is the best quality of this team.
“I think that the team is playing well and is having success because of our senior leadership of Tristan Szych and Averi Hemmert. The unselfishness and team-first mentality, along with being great teammates and great kids is the biggest contributor, in my opinion. We are a very young team that has talent, but it takes the right group of seniors and leaders to turn that into early success. I can't emphasize enough how unselfish those two are, and it’s contagious and rubs off on everyone.”
Addi Moritz has five shutouts on the season and has 67 saves, and the defenders are responsible for three goals and three assists. Lyla Edens, Melanie Smith, Izzy West and Audrey Brower have worked tirelessly to protect Moritz.
The starting midfielders are Ava Houghtaling (6 goals, 2 assists), Megan Hoeft (3 goals, 4 assists), Tatum Szych (3 goals, 3 assists) and Kayla Boyd, and two of the forwards are Tristan Szych and Adrianna Williams (11 goals, 2 assists).
The starting midfielders are Ava Houghtaling (6 goals, 2 assists), Megan Hoeft (3 goals, 4 assists), Tatum Szych (3 goals, 3 assists) and Kayla Boyd, and Tristan Szych and Adrianna Williams (11 goals, 2 assists).
The reserves are Hemmert, Jess Baker (1 goal), Jewel Aldrich (1 goal), Aleeyah Dunn (2 goals), Sedona Fifter-Loepf (1 assist), Sophia Keaton (1 goal) Allasandra Lombardo, Sydney Harp, Hannah Reardon and Izzy Moore.
“Tristan Szych is an outstanding leader and makes our entire team click,” Hanson said. “She leads the team in assists with nine so far. Goalie and first-year player Addi Mortiz is having an awesome year in goal. She has five shutouts and 67 saves on the year. Adrianna Williams and Ava Houghtaling are our two goal-scoring leaders — Williams with 11 and Houghtaling with six. They both are very talented young players.
“The last two players I would like to mention are our two defensive center backs — junior Audrey Brower and Izzy West – very unselfish players willing to do the dirty work of playing defense. They, along with the rest of the defense, are a huge part of our five shutouts and our 14 goals allowed this season,”
The team has a +20 goal differential this season and started the season off by winning five of its first seven matches, which included a tie. The one loss came to Archbold, 3-1, and the tie was with Wauseon, 1-1 – and these were the first two matches. Then the Comets beat Ottawa Hills (7-0), Lake (1-0), Van Buren (2-0), Rossford (4-1) and Edison (6-0). The last two matches have seen Genoa go 2-2, losing to Delta (5-1) and Oak Harbor (1-0) and beating Swanton (6-0) and Otsego (6-2).
“I think finishing the season strong will end things on a high note – being competitive in our last two league games, then playing well in the tournament,” said Hanson.
Genoa last won a sectional title in 2020. The Comets are in a tough district, one that includes perennial powers in Eastwood and Woodmore.

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