Brock Netter, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — Addie Erslan has been the primary focus of Chillicothe’s girls soccer program since she stepped foot on the field as a freshman.
Year by year, she’s continued to progress and find new ways to dazzle fans while being a nightmare for the opposition.
This past fall, she helped guide the Cavaliers to their second district final appearance in three years, earning numerous awards along the way such as Frontier Athletic Conference and District Player of the Year honors, as well as a first-team All-Ohio nod.
She can now add one more award to that ever-growing list. She’s been selected as SOSA’s Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
“I put in a lot of work during the summer and participated in the ODP [Olympic Development Program], which really helped and taught me a few new things to add another level to my game,” Erslan said. “There was a lot of conditioning that I put in, but it wasn’t just me. The whole team put in a lot of work as well because we knew we could accomplish something big.”
Typically known for putting the ball in the back of the net, Erslan took on a different role this season. She switched positions, from striker to midfielder, in order to set up her teammates for opportunities to connect.
She finished with 11 assists, which was a team-high, but also did her fair share of scoring with 33 goals, also a team-high and career best to date.
“It was a little tricky in the beginning of the year to adjust to a new role and position,” Erslan said. “After being used to scoring, I was tasked with assisting and setting up my teammates which was what the team needed from me. As the year went by, I began to get more comfortable and we kept winning. Having the focus not be on just one player and playing more together allowed us to be successful.”
In addition to having a different position on the field, she had an added responsibility as a team captain, leading a talented yet inexperienced team that featured 16 freshmen.
Chillicothe finished the season 15-3-2 with marquee victories over Bishop Rosecrans, who played in a Division III regional final, and Westerville South, who ousted Chillicothe in a Division I sectional the year before.
“Our numbers were insane this year, but it was great to see,” Erslan said. “Getting victories over Rosecrans and Westerville South meant a lot to us since we lost to them the season before. It was great to see how much work we put in and see the results change against those teams this year.”
Erslan said everything clicked during the team’s first contest against Jackson. That’s when she was able to take pressure off herself to score and set records.
Speaking of records, she currently sits at 90 career goals … just 16 away from breaking the Ross County record for goals in a career, currently held by Unioto graduate Jayla Campbell.
While the pressure of accomplishing the feat is currently there, it’s not the ultimate goal she has in mind.
It’s hardware that she wants in her final season.
“We have a lot of girls who work extremely hard. They also now have that experience of what it’s like to play at the top level and compete against even better teams,” she said. “I’m excited to get to the summer, put more work in with the girls and hopefully accomplish winning a district title next year.”