Girls soccer overcoming obstacles

Cody Pomeranz

By Cody Pomeranz, ’11, Sports Section Editor

The theme of the girls varsity soccer season this year has been one of overcoming obstacles. Before the season began, Head Coach Theresa Hirschauer, entering her 20th year of coaching, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Nevertheless, Hirsch has battled her illness with a remarkable spirit and has yet to miss a game.

The team has been tested by myriad injuries to key players. Junior forward Alexandra McInturf, last year’s leading scorer and an All City and All MVC selection, has battled a quad injury since the beginning of the season, while senior co-captain Liza Cohen, a vital part of the Indians defense, has suffered from a shin injury. However, both girls have returned to the field. More recently, senior captain and Bucknell recruit Corey Tipton, a key player for the Indians, has been sidelined by a knee injury. Along with the injuries, the girls squad has also been hampered by illnesses, with sophomore talent Sirena Isadore battling mono, and junior goalkeeper Blythe Gross-Hutton returning from bronchitis.

However, despite the injuries and illnesses, Hirschauer’s squad has persevered, earning a 3-3-1 record thus far. “We’re trying to find our depth. The younger players are definitely stepping up,” said Hirschauer. Among the Indians wins are Clark Montessori, Roger Bacon, and Springfield Central Catholic, while two of their three losses have come against Mariemont, a top ranked team in the city, and this past Saturday against Madeira, one of the top five teams in the state. The Indians’ next game will be Thursday, September 17 against St. Bernard at home and the squad will finish the regular season in mid-October with a rivalry game at Indian Hill.

The road between now and the end of the regular season, however, does not get much easier. The Indians, who earned a sectional championship and an MVC title last year, face one of the toughest schedules in the league. “We have to keep getting better and win the rest of our league games,” said Hirschauer. Though hampered by injuries, the Indians certainly have the talent to do so. Star players like senior co-captain Xanni Brown have shown no sign of slowing down their success, as Brown has netted ten goals this season, leading the team. Also playing top tier soccer is sophomore Ari Knue, who anchors the defense at sweeper and has been a critical piece of the Indians offense with her corner kicking. Juniors Jamie Huelskamp and Alexis Victor have also been vital contributors to the Indians’ success. However, the loss of Tipton and Isadore, who are both expected to be sidelined for at least a week, is a temporary, but significant blow to the squad.

Nevertheless, if the Indians can recover from their early setbacks, they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with in the post-season. “Hopefully, everyone will be healthy and we will play our best soccer and see what we can do,” said Hirschauer.

Header photo of goalkeeper Blythe Gross-Hutton, ’11, by Ilana Habib.