MONROE — The Monroe High boys soccer team didn’t let a lot of teams find the back of the net in 2018. That was thanks to stud goalkeeper Cassidy Kelly, who graduated this past spring.
But judging by the current Hornets’ roster, opponents again may not be lighting up the scoreboard.
Monroe, which only allowed six goals in 19 games a season ago, returns a slew of starters from a team that went 13-2-4 and captured the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division title.
The Hornets fell to Tipp City 1-0 in the district finals.
“We return a number of starters from a high quality team,” said Monroe coach Michael Oster, who is entering his 11th season at the helm. “Most of the starters returning are still only juniors. While we have to find answers for some of our seniors that we lost, it should still be a very strong season for us.”
Monroe’s returning starters are junior forward Zach Hamdan, senior forward Seth Wolfenbarger, junior midfielder Ben Griffis, junior midfielder Adam Ploeger, junior midfielder William Bruce, junior defender Will DeBord, junior defender and captain Austin Rilling, senior forward Blake Hammond and sophomore defender Logan Schaeper.
“Expectations would be to again challenge for a SWBL and district title,” said Oster, who was named the State of Ohio’s Coach of the Year in Division II last season.
“We have had some players return from club (soccer) season injured, but we’re hoping to be at full strength by the end of August.”
Rounding out the roster for the Hornets are junior goalkeeper Adam Duff, junior midfielder Grant Martinez, senior defender Van Thang, junior midfielder Brennan Hesse, junior midfielder Ethan Bollinger, junior defender Jasdeep Singh, junior midfielder/forward Knoll Taylor, senior defender Alex Watkins, senior defender Andrew Stegman, senior midfielder Jackson Denny, senior defender Jordan Hamdan and sophomore goalkeeper Luke Folger.
Monroe, which ended Bellbrook’s 20-plus year streak of at least tying SWBL Southwestern title in 2018, opens up the season at home against Fenwick on Friday, Aug. 16 at 7:15 p.m.