On August 11th, 18 of the state's top teams will be playing in the All Ohio High School Girls Soccer Challenge in Kettering. Miami Valley-area schools along with teams as far away as Toledo and Cleveland will be mixing it up a few weeks before the season officially begins. The event is hosted by the Alter and Fenwick high school girls soccer programs and Metro FC.
On August 11th, 18 teams will be playing in the All Ohio High School Girls Soccer Challenge in Kettering. Miami Valley-area schools along with teams as far away as Toledo and Cleveland will be mixing it up a few weeks before the 2007 season officially begins. The event is hosted by the Alter and Fenwick high school girls soccer programs and Metro FC and will showcase some top teams and players from the state at Delco Park.
Alter head coach Jason Balogh is ready to get out on the field.
“The Alter Girls Soccer staff is excited to work with Metro FC and Fenwick High School to put on the All Ohio High School Girls Challenge,” Balogh said. “The idea came about because we wanted to bring together not only some of the best teams in each region, but the state together for a one-day event.”
Balogh thinks it’s a great way to showcase Dayton-area soccer to the rest of the state in addition to providing an opportunity for teams to fine tune things before their season openers.
Said Balogh: “This event allows each coach and program to put themselves up against three quality opponents, which will allow each coach to see what strengths and weaknesses they may have.”
Kevin Arcuri, the Metro FC Director of Coaching, has already seen a great deal of interest from NCAA Division I, II, and III schools along with NAIA college programs about attending.
“We expect this event to become a staple on the college recruiting calendar,” said Arcuri.
The resume of the teams participating is impressive. Of the 18 teams, 15 are Division I programs. D-I state runner-up Dublin Coffman is coming, along with four regional champions, two regional runner-ups and seven district champions. Nearly half of the teams were ranked in their respective division’s final Ohio state poll.
The collection of teams and the high level of competition has attracted programs from all over the state. Two perennial powers, Strongsville and Bexley, certainly capitalize on the opportunities to play in these events. Both teams are consistently in the hunt for state championships in their respective divisions. In fact, both programs also host their own events in the preseason as well.
Bexley head coach Scott Dempsey is a huge fan of these types of events and the experience that they bring for his highly respected D-II program.
“The All-Ohio Challenge is an opportunity for us [Bexley] to play against some of the best competition in the state early in the season in order to help 'set the tone' for our regular season matches and with any luck a strong post-season performance in the tournament,” Dempsey said. “It will expose our players to a variety of talented players and teams as well as giving them an added bonus of displaying their skills and abilities to a number of colleges and universities from throughout the state.”
Jon Felton of Cleveland-power Strongsville shares the same sentiments as Bexley and always travels to the Cincinnati/Dayton area at the beginning of the season.
Said Felton: “The quality and strength of teams in the South mirrors that of the North and gives us a fresh opportunity to see a variety of great competition.”
All scrimmage games will be played at Delco Park in Kettering in three separate sessions starting at 9 a.m., 12:15 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
Schedules, directions, and other details can be viewed online at http://www.mvssca.org/2007AFSS/
Those schools attending include:
Dublin Coffman (Columbus)
St. Ursula Academy (Toledo)
Upper Arlington (Columbus)
Ursuline Academy (Cincinnati)
Westerville North (Columbus)