VINCENT - Warren's girls' soccer team accomplished one of its goals when it clinched the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League crown with a 6-0 triumph over Logan a week ago.
Claiming the league title was also a program first.
The Lady Warrior booters aren't about to rest on their SEOAL championhip laurels, though.
Times file photo
Warren’s Jordanna Rauch (18) battles for control of the ball against Parkersburg's Kailey Cox (7) during the first half of a soccer match at the Warren soccer complex in a match last season. The SEOAL champion Lady Warriors are scheduled to host Washington Court House in a sectional opener tonight.
"Our goal now is to go further than we did last year in the postseason and win the district," said Warren head coach Ekrem Eksi, whose royal blue and white squad is 10-1-5 on the season.
Warren's only setback this fall was to the Parkersburg Big Reds in a non-conference match.
Warren's journey on the tournament trail is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. tonight when the No. 3-seeded Lady Warriors host No. 6-seeded and Jon Creamer-coached Washington Court House in an Ohio Division 2 sectional final in Vincent.
Washington Court House, the owner of a program-best 11-6 overall record, advanced by virtue of its 5-0 semifinal win over Miami Trace Monday night. Ashley Lovett scored a hat trick and had an assist to lead the Lady Lions while Kailyn Romine and Tabi Williamson added one goal apiece.
Christy Smith, Kaylee Noel, and Adrienne Perrill each had an assist for the winners.
"They're a very good team, but I believe we're better," Eksi said. "In tournament play, anything can happen, and if you lose, you're out."
Last year, Warren bowed out of the postseason with a 1-0 district semifinal loss to Chillicothe at Jackson's Holzer Field.
Overall, Warren is a relatively young team, which is led by its four starting seniors' Melissa Dickerson, Addie Barnes, Mackenzie Ullman, and Jordanna Rauch.
The starting line-up also includes four freshmen - Raeli Barnes, Lara Eksi, Emma Yabs, and Halee McPherson.
"With the youth and senior leadership, they have really come together as a team," said Warren girls' soccer consultant and goalie coach Tyler Barnes.
Warren features a balanced scoring attack with 2011 All-Ohio honoree Dickerson leading the way with 16 goals and 16 assists. In her last regular-season match against Logan, she had two scores.
Raeli Barnes is next on the scoring list with 12 goals and eight assists. Then, there are junior Raelyn Gardner with 10 goals and three assists and Ullman with nine goals and two assists.
Overall this fall, the Lady Warriors have put 52 soccer balls (3.25 average per game) into the back of the net, and allowed only 20 scores, or an average of less than a goal per match.
"I think with our defense, we wouldn't be where we're at," Tyler Barnes said.
Warren's back-line defenders include Lara Eksi, Addie Barnes, McPherson, and Rauch, who had a goal in the Logan game.
The Lady Warrior keeper is expected to be sophomore Janelle Barth with Rachel Grogg and Kayla Maze as backups.
"We're pretty deep at keeper," Tyler Barnes said.
Rounding out the starters will be Natalie O'Dell at the right midfield position and Gardner, also a midfielder.
"We're going to continue to play our game and not change anything," Ekrem Eksi said.
"We're doing good, and we beat this team (Washington Court House) last year. But that was last year, and this is this year. Anything can happen."