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The Nordonia High School girls soccer team has been dealing with more than its fair share of injuries throughout the 2016 season, and the Lady Knights are still dealing with them as they begin the postseason.
The Lady Knights entered their Division I sectional match against Akron North at home Oct. 17, without three starters. Results were from the playoff opener were not available at press time.
If Nordonia emerged victorious, then the Lady Knights advanced to the sectional finals against Walsh Jesuit on Thursday, Oct. 20.
Nordonia played three matches leading up to its sectional semifinal contest.
On Oct. 5, the Lady Knights traveled to Suburban League National Conference rival Twinsburg. The Lady Tigers blanked Nordonia by the score of 6-0.
Twinsburg led 2-0 at intermission. Then the Lady Tigers added four more goals in the second half.
"We had two starters out, and then we lost a third one 10 minutes into the game," said Nordonia head coach Les Gicei. "Our inexperience and lack of depth hurt us in the second half. We basically ran out of gas."
On Oct. 8, Nordonia hosted non-conference opponent Green. The Lady Bulldogs edged the Lady Knights 2-0.
"It was a fairly even match," said Gicei. "We just didn't have much offensive punch in the game."
On Oct. 12, Nordonia played its last contest of the regular season. The Knights hosted conference nemesis Wadsworth on Senior Night. The Grizzlies topped the host team by the score of 6-0.
Nordonia honored its six seniors during the contest. Those six include Danielle Bobay, Rachel Kidd, Delaney Masteller, Brittany Kudla, Kayleigh Long, and Sydney Bostjancic.
"We used our full squad on Senior Night, and our seniors did well," said Gicei. "It was nice to see them all together and playing together. Wadsworth is a really tough matchup. They're one of the best teams we've played this season."
Nordonia finished the regular season with an overall record of 6-8-2. The Lady Knights also posted a mark of 1-5-1 in the National Conference.
According to Gicei, his team's injuries have "run the gamut" so far this season. "We've had some concussions, and we've also had some nagging injuries," he said. "We started the season with one or two nagging injuries, and now we're down three starters heading into the postseason.
"Hopefully, if we can win [our first playoff game], we'll get one of those players back going into our second-round match. In the meantime, we're going to play some of our younger girls and develop depth for next season."
The sectional/district tournament draw took place Oct. 9. As a result of that draw, Nordonia was seeded eighth in the tournament.
"We always have powerhouses in our district," said Gicei. "Walsh, Twinsburg, Stow, Hudson . . . our district is always pretty good. It was king of a tough draw for us. Walsh is ranked fourth in the state right now."