Girls Varsity Soccer
A long postseason run is the objective for this season’s Columbus North girls soccer team.
A year after advancing to the Evansville Semistate, coach Derek Stewart believes his 2017 Bull Dogs have the potential to again extend their season. Specifically, the coach is looking to junior Tanner Johnson, sophomore Caroline Hollenkamp, junior Baleigh Drum, senior Liz Tynan, junior Elise Whitley and seniors Corrine and Kristen Orben to headline a solid overall group of players.
Johnson is the team’s top returning scorer, totaling 26 points on 11 goals and four assists a year ago when the Bull Dogs went 13-3-4 and captured sectional and regional crowns. Kristen Orben added 16 points on two goals and 12 assists, while Drum added seven points on two goals and three assists. Hollenkamp and Whitley each provided six points. Corrine Orben tallied five points.
“We are looking for Tanner to pick up where she left off last season as a top forward,” Stewart said. “She had a great season last year and brings a lot of experience and leadership to the team. Tanner has a huge responsibility this year to produce goals, and I believe she is up for the challenge.”
In the midfield, Stewart has a strong group with several having the ability to rotate into the front line.
“We have a number of players who will do well,” he said, mentioning Hollenkamp, Drum, both Orbens, junuior Christy DeDomenic, senior Anna Andrews, and Elise and freshman Lauryn Whitley. “We are looking for players who demonstrate quick transition on both sides of the ball and have the ability to score.”
Tynan is the returning goalkeeper, posting a 0.64 goals-against average last season. She anchors the defense with a back line expected to include junior Morgan Blankenhorn and freshman Kate Kolhouse.
“We are counting on Liz for her leadership and ability to produce a clean sheet every game,” Stewart said.
Overall, the coach is excited about the season.
“We have a very nice pool of talent, which will allow us to be more creative with our play and overall shape,” he said. “Every player has the ability to contribute at a high level and earn playing time. I am very confident in our players and their ability to play in any position. This makes it very competitive and will challenge each player to compete at the top of their game. Players will play in various positions for competitive and developmental reasons and above all, for the success of the team.”
The Bull Dogs open their season at 7 p.m. Monday when they host Center Grove at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex. CN visits Heritage Christian on Thursday and Lawrenceburg on Saturday, then faces Bloomington North on Aug. 23 and Columbus East on Aug. 26. The team concludes the month at Franklin Central on Aug. 30, then hosts Terre Haute South on Sept. 2. The postseason begins with the Greenwood Sectional that runs Oct. 3-7.