Amelia’s defense shines as offense tries to find footing

Senior goalkeeper Danielle Lang has moved from goal scorer to goal preventer.

Senior goalkeeper Danielle Lang has moved from goal scorer to goal preventer.
The best offense is a good defense.

The Amelia Lady Barons hope that old adage can hold true at least until they find some goals. Through three games in the 2012 season, Amelia has scored just twice, but still haven’t lost, a testament to the team’s stellar back line and senior goalkeeper, Danielle Lang.

“The team has been working really hard, but we’re just struggling to generate offense,” Amelia head coach Amy Kemmer said. “Defensively, we’ve been playing really well. Senior goalkeeper Danielle Lang has three shutouts and 22 saves. (Couple that) with the leadership of Madison Terry, and we’re keeping the ball out of the back of the net.”

The Lady Barons, who at the time of publication sit at 1-0-2 on the season, tied their opening game of the season at Madeira 0-0, then won their only game of the year at Bethel-Tate 2-0, before playing to a scoreless draw versus Glen Este on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Despite their offensive woes, the Lady Barons did get some goals in their only Southern Buckeye Conference game of the season thus far in a two-goal victory over Bethel.

Going forward with the meat of their schedule directly ahead, Kemmer is looking for someone to put some goals on the board.

“We have a freshman, Mackenzie Wolfson, who has a presence up top,” Kemmer said. “As she continues to adjust to the speed of varsity, I think she should generate some offense for us.”

Kemmer has a group of players in the offensive third of the field that she expects to pick up the goal scoring as the season progresses, including Hannah Lehn, Allison McDaniel, Kylie Brown and Marissa Stone.

Coming off a great season in 2011 that saw the Lady Barons go 14-2 and win the SBC-American going away, the 2012 Amelia Barons are without leading scorers Katie Brown and Kymmy Simon.

Lang, who scored 16 goals and had nine assists last year, has moved to keeper, effectively eliminating her from the offensive end.

However as the team chemistry gels and more players get back into the swing of things, Kemmer believes the offense will come.

“We’ve got strong center midfielders in junior Allison McDaniel and her counterpart Marissa Stone,” she said. “(Stone) is coming off a good freshman season (10 goals, eight assists), but she was out in the Glen Este game and only had limited playing time in the other two games. Once she’s healthy, she should help create offensive chances.”

While the Amelia offense gets their legs under them, the defense is expected to continue their stellar play. Going up against four consecutive conference opponents ? vs. Western Brown, at Goshen, vs. New Richmond and at Norwood ? the Lady Barons hope to improve their offensive output as they look to win their third straight league title and achieve their preseason goals.

“I ask them before every regular season what they want their target to be,” Kemmer said. “This year they wanted to go 13-3 or 14-2 overall, but the two ties already threw us for a loop. But we haven’t lost and we’re 1-0 in the league, so if we can get to 10-0 in the league, we should be close to our goal.”