Enright, Ayers lead Flyers

J. Patrick Eaken

Last year, Lake’s Alan Miller Jewelers All-Press and Northern Buckeye Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Brigid Enright said that she won’t give up until the Flyers win a championship.

She and coach Don Jablonski know that to do that, the Flyers are going to have to go through defending league champion Eastwood and runner-up Woodmore, which both return plenty of top-tiered talent.

Jablonski says his players have to get used to playing against the best because “the NBC always presents great competition.” All three teams were junior-heavy last year and are expecting big things this year. Across the board in Northwest Ohio, this year’s senior class of girls soccer players could be the best the region has ever seen.

Last year in the NBC, Lake was in contention, defeating Eastwood 1-0 on the final league game of the season on a goal by Ava Ayers and shutout by Enright. But they lost to Woodmore three times (2-0, 2-1, and 3-1 in a D-III district semifinal) and just couldn’t get over the top. This year, the Flyers open the season with a 5 p.m. matchup against the Wildcats on Wednesday, August 25 at Lake Community Stadium.

Last year’s team had only two seniors on the roster, but still finished 13-5-1 with the other two losses coming to Eastwood and Liberty-Benton.

Jablonski has 14 letter winners returning, and he believes Enright has every right to believe that the Flyers can be in the mix.

Enright finished the 2020 season with 73 saves and led Lake to 10 shutouts. Jablonski says she is great at protecting the 18-yard deep goalkeeper’s box and she is a big reason why Lake scored 70 goals and only gave up 20.

“We are expecting great things from returning senior Brigid Enright,” Jablonski said. “She has great hands and great control when it comes to ‘the 18.’ Brigid was a huge key player for us last year and we expect her to return this year working harder and stronger.

“Brigid is a phenomenal goalkeeper and made 12 great saves to keep the shutout against us at the end of the regular season (against Eastwood). She was very deserving of her NBC Player of The Year award.”

Ayers (17 goals, 10 assists), a senior forward, was first team All-NBC, All-Press and an all-district selection as a junior and she will head up the offense. Jablonski says Ayers has a shot at breaking the school career scoring record of 77 goals set by Shelby Antonacci from 2009-12. She already owns the school record for goals in a game (5), which was set in 2018, and season goals (30), set in 2019.

Ayers’ biggest game last year was a hat trick, scoring all of the game’s three goals in a 3-0 win over Liberty Center. Overall, her goals fell in part because defenses focused on her, but that opens up opportunities for her teammates to score.

“Returning senior Ava Ayers is a player who will continually be man-marked by teams. Her speed is a huge asset to our team,” Jablonski said. “She is one of the fastest girls in the state and is constantly working to improve her game. 

“Kara Likes (seven goals, two assists) and Haden Schroyer (three goals, four assists), returning letterman, are also key players on the front line.

The front line typically does not score unless the midfielders are able to control the middle of the field. Jablonski has that covered, too.

“Kelsie Gladiuex (seven goals, two assists) and (twin sisters) Emily Darr (two goals, two assists), and Lindsey Darr (two goals), returning letterman, will help to control the midfield.  These girls have great chemistry and we are expecting some big things from them this year,” Jablonski said.

Head to the back end of the field and you will find more returnees ready to help Enright protect “the 18.”

“Returning letterman and defenders, Jenae Fisher, Jillian Gladiuex, and Hailey Gobble will be at the forefront of our defense,” Jablonski said. “The three girls worked very hard last year and the chemistry they have made over the years has been incredible.  We expect them to continue improving on their chemistry and the way they read the game, while incorporating a new defender to replace graduating seniors from the 2020 team.”

There are other players new to the varsity team or they are finding themselves in new roles.

“Marena Taylor has stepped into a new role this year and will be a huge asset in her new role.  She has been working hard all summer to learn a position she hasn’t always been familiar with.  We expect her to continue to improve throughout the year and be a key playmaker,” Jablonski said.

“Audrey Snowdry, freshman, will be a key player for us on the attacking line.  She is an incredibly hard worker who is working to learn our style of play.  She fits right in with our returning forwards and has great chemistry with them.”




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