Now juniors, Jodi Bowlen, Brittney Getz and Erica Bortmas are key players for coach Carlo Trafficante.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
YOUNGSTOWN -- Traditionally, in high school soccer preview stories, top area senior players and their individual accomplishments are detailed. This fall, however, many of the best players are juniors, at least among girls.
In no case is this fine junior class more dramatic than at Austintown Fitch where coach Carlo Trafficante has a loaded program. The Falcons were in the regional tournament for the first time ever in 2003.
Back are juniors Jodi Bowlen (24 goals, 11 assists), Brittney Getz (10 goals) and sweeper Erica Bortmas.
Bowlen scored eight goals in the district tournament alone and junior goalie Kristi Brendlinger is a rock for Fitch (2003 record 13-5-2).
Both Canfield and Howland will provide good opposition as Fitch tries to make it two straight trips to the regional.
Don't forget about Boardman senior Brittany Sirak (23 goals, six assists).
Poland beat Hubbard to win the 2003 district 4-1, a title the Eagles had won three straight seasons.
Poland coach Jim Sutman has five trips to the regional; Hubbard, under coach Dennis Smith, has won five district titles since 1995.
Two juniors will carry the load at Cardinal Mooney -- Marisa Simon and Kelli Willis. Simon (14 goals, 19 assists) was second-team all-state last year and Willis is halfway to a 100-goal career.
Don't forget about Badger junior Hannah Miller (13 goals, 12 assists), West Branch's Vana Morgan and Mariah Snyder of Ursuline.
Morgan led the Warriors (11-1-5) to ties with Mooney and Poland and a trip to the district title game. Snyder is the key player for the Irish who will be coached this year by her father, Tom Snyder.
Champion was the best Division III team in the Mahoning Valley last fall, reaching the regional for the first time since 1997. Led by coach Nate Mailach, the Flashes will be tough again.
John Emery is a top offensive threat, coming off a 30-goal junior season when he set three school records for the Flashes (18-2).
Don't forget about Kyle Schimley of JFK and Ursuline senior Chris DePaola.
Schimley is a three-year regular for coach Lou Cali and DePaola makes the Irish go.
Cardinal Mooney lost just two regulars from a team that was ranked in many national top 10 lists.
Mooney coach Lenny Krispinsky (121-85-18, 23 seasons) will count on senior Kiki Willis and juniors Kevin Miller and Zack Hernan.
Willis, a Parade All-American, scored 50 goals last year and has 116 career. Another good season could leave Wills with an elusive record -- the Ohio career mark is 154 goals.
At Canfield coach Phil Simone lost a dozen seniors from a team that pushed Mooney to overtime in the district tournament.
Canfield junior Adam Jones could play for any team in Ohio. He's that good.
If Canfield doesn't win the balanced Metro-Athletic Conference, Howland, Poland or Alliance could. All four reached the district last autumn.
Don't forget about Niles standout Nathan Mang (20 goals) and Shawn Dunn of Beaver Local (third-team all-state).
Fitch coach Jeff Sosnowski faces a rebuilding project around sophomore center midfielder Brad Hrinko and the Falcons will join Boardman in the tough Federal League.