May 27, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Girls soccer: Jacob Miracle to lead Cloverleaf team

WESTFIELD TWP. — It’s official: Cloverleaf’s girls soccer is entering the post-Val Baughman era.

The school didn’t have to look far, as it selected assistant Jacob Miracle to take over the program. He replaces the legendary Baughman, who retired after the 2010 season.

Miracle is no stranger to the Colts’ after being an assistant the past three seasons and is well aware of the challenge of replacing the only coach Cloverleaf had known over its first 17 seasons.

“I’m excited,” the 30-year-old said. “I’ve learned a lot from Val over the last three years. She has much smaller shoes than me, but it will be a big task to fill. There will be a lot to live up to with the things that this program has been accustomed to.”

Simply put, that’s winning.

The Colts won three straight Suburban League titles and 209 games under Baughman. They also never had a losing season.

Miracle is no stranger to success, as the 1999 Cloverleaf graduate was a defensive midfielder for the school’s only conference title team in 1997.

“I have a good grasp of their capabilities and assets,” he said. “It gives me an advantage because I know where to build from and our area’s that need improvement so that we can move forward.”

The team lost All-Ohioan forward Katie Roberts (University of Buffalo), forward Heather Buckwald (Ohio University) and midfielder Megan Connor (Toledo) to graduation.

“There was a significant loss the last two years with the seniors we’ve lost, but we have a good core,” said Miracle, who is a compound commander in the Army National Guard. “Each player returning brings a different attribute and they all know what to do to help make this a success.

“This is a great opportunity and we have a great group of kids. I enjoy working with them.”

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