The Watterson and DeSales high school girls soccer teams have both been incredibly difficult to score against this season.

The Watterson and DeSales high school girls soccer teams have both been incredibly difficult to score against this season.

At 9-2-1 overall and 4-0 in the CCL, the Eagles have produced eight shutouts and allowed only seven goals.

DeSales, which is 8-1-2 overall and 4-0 in the CCL, has shut out seven opponents and surrendered only six goals.

When scoring two goals or more in a game, Watterson is 9-0 and DeSales is 7-0.

Thus, Watterson coach Alyxandra Portier said it is crucial that the Eagles finish their scoring chances today when they play at DeSales.

"We're both really strong defensive teams, so we've got to score when we get the opportunity, because there may not be a lot of opportunities in a game like this," Portier said. "Scoring the first goal would be a big advantage because, when you have the lead, the clock is on your side and you can play with extra defenders, which makes it that much tougher to score. The key for us is to use good combinational play and movement off the ball. We need to play as a team, not as a bunch of individuals."

Watterson senior defender Molly Cantwell said the Eagles will need to be patient to beat the Stallions' defense, which is led by senior Erin Doone, juniors Megan Shannon, Elle Murray and Sam Strain and sophomore Maura Hulme.

"Our game is passing and moving the ball around until we find quality chances, and we've got to make them change their style and play our game," Cantwell said. "Even if they score first, we can't let ourselves panic.

"We got out of our game in losses to Dublin Jerome (2-1 on Aug. 27) and Olentangy Liberty (2-1 on Sept. 10) and those games were a great wake-up call for us. When we fell behind (Whitehouse) Anthony Wayne, we stuck with our game, and we came back and beat them (2-1 on Sept. 19)."

Kelly DeNiro has scored eight goals in Watterson's last seven games.

"Kelly's our main goal-scorer," Portier said. "She's crafty with the ball and she makes good, quick decisions. Bridget Lynch is our leader in the midfield. She has great vision and she's one of our most accurate passers."

Portier said the Eagles' defense -- which is led by seniors Tyler Bucci, Meghan Caldwell and Cantwell -- will need to be prepared for the ball to move faster on DeSales' artificial turf.

"The surface is a lot quicker than what we practice on, so our technical ability has to be very precise when we play there," Portier said. "Our defense is doing a great job. Tyler Bucci has been our most consistent outside back and Molly Cantwell has been a vocal leader, both on and off the field."

The winner will capture the CCL championship outright.

Watterson hasn't beaten DeSales during the regular season or won the CCL title outright since 2002.

The Stallions defeated the Eagles 2-1 last year and 5-0 in 2007 en route to winning the CCL, after Watterson and DeSales battled to ties and shared the league crown in 2005 and 2006.

DeSales also downed Watterson 2-1 in 2003 and 2-0 in 2004 on the way to winning the CCL each of those years.

The Eagles, who last beat DeSales 1-0 in a Division I district semifinal in 2007, nipped the Stallions 1-0 in 2002 to win their last league title outright, breaking a three-year CCL title drought.

"One of our main goals is to win the CCL outright and that would be a huge accomplishment," senior forward Isa Hollern said. "We have 10 seniors on the team and seven of us have been on varsity since we were freshmen, so it would mean a lot to us to beat DeSales."

The Eagles pounded Columbus School for Girls 6-1 on Sept. 22, as DeNiro scored twice and Mary Kate Campbell had one save.

Watterson beat New Albany 3-0 on Sept. 24, as DeNiro, Rachel Callahan and Lynch scored, and Campbell had three saves.

After playing DeSales, the Eagles will play host Saturday to Westerville North before playing Wednesday at Lancaster.

•The girls cross country team scored 40 points to win the 10-team Whetstone Arrowhead Invitational on Sept. 23 ahead of runner-up Bexley (40), as Paige Patrick won the race in 20 minutes, 51 seconds.

The boys squad finished fourth (97) in the 11-team Arrowhead Invitational behind Whetstone (34), St. Charles (71) and Bexley (93).

"Paige Patrick, running only her second year of cross country, won her second-consecutive race," coach Matt McGowan said. "The girls tied Bexley through five runners and freshman Heidi Hetterscheid edged Bexley's sixth-place finisher by one place and three seconds to allow us to win."

Both squads compete Saturday in the Panther Invitational at Pickerington North.

"Overall, both boys and girls teams have been improving during the season and we need to continue do the right things to do our best at the end of the season," McGowan said.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Watterson boys golf, girls golf, girls tennis, boys soccer, girls volleyball and field hockey teams:

BOYS GOLF

Saturday -- Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley

Tuesday -- Division I sectional at Granville

GIRLS GOLF

Sept. 22 -- Finished first (157) ahead of Dublin Jerome (175) and Pickerington North (180). Lauren Grogan (36) was medalist.

Sept. 23 -- Defeated DeSales 167-197. Grogan (36) was medalist.

Sept. 24 -- Finished first (160) in fourth round of MOGGL tournament ahead of runner-up DeSales (178). Grogan (38) was medalist.

Last Monday -- Def. New Albany 171-203

Last Wednesday -- Played Dublin Jerome and Upper Arlington

Today -- At Broadview vs. Gahanna

Tuesday -- Division I sectional at Mentel Memorial

GIRLS TENNIS

*Sept. 22 -- Def. DeSales 3-2

Sept. 23 -- Def. Olentangy Liberty 3-2

Last Monday -- Def. Pickerington Central 3-2 in OTCA tournament

*Last Tuesday -- Played Ready

Last Wednesday -- Played New Albany

*Today -- Home vs. Hartley

Tuesday -- At Upper Arlington

Wednesday -- At Wellington

Of note: The Eagles were 9-3 overall and 3-0 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

BOYS SOCCER

*Sept. 24 -- Lost to DeSales 5-0

Last Saturday -- Lost to Beavercreek 2-0

*Last Tuesday -- Played Worthington Christian

Saturday -- Home vs. Centennial

Monday -- At Bexley

Of note: The Eagles are 2-4-2 overall and 1-2-1 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

*Sept. 22 -- Def. Worthington Christian 25-13, 25-3, 25-19

*Sept. 24 -- Lost to Hartley 25-20, 25-20, 25-20

*Last Tuesday -- Played DeSales

*Today -- At Ready

Saturday -- At Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame

*Tuesday -- Home vs. Columbus School for Girls

Of note: The Eagles were 9-6 overall and 4-2 in the CCL before last Tuesday.

FIELD HOCKEY

Sept. 22 -- Def. Bexley 1-0. Nina Passen scored. Domini Paradiso had three saves.

Last Monday -- Def. Olentangy 7-0

Last Wednesday -- Played Upper Arlington

Saturday -- At Shaker Heights vs. Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown and Shaker Heights

Tuesday -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty

Of note: The Eagles were 8-0-1 before last Wednesday.

*CCL contest