Field hockey team advances
Watterson High School field hockey coach Janet Baird was concerned when her team scored a total of two goals in its final four regular-season games.
Those fears were quelled when the second-seeded Eagles opened the district tournament Oct. 15 with a 6-0 victory over visiting Dublin Scioto.
Leah Delp scored two goals and Jen Buening, Emily Engert, Elizabeth Racher and Jen Buening each scored one, as Watterson improved to 16-1. The Eagles faced sixth-seeded Dublin Coffman in a district semifinal Oct. 24, with the winner playing third-seeded Thomas Worthington or fifth-seeded Bexley in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at Dublin Jerome.
The district champion advances to a state semifinal Nov. 2 at Upper Arlington. The state final will be played Nov. 3 at UA.
"We had a hard time getting the ball in the net the previous four games, so we had some things we needed to improve on," Baird said. "Dublin Scioto played us tough in the first half and it was 2-0 at halftime, but we're deeper at some different positions and we started to wear them down in the second half.
"I'm just relieved that we were able to get our offense going again in the tournament."
Goalkeeper Bridget Wagy didn't have to make any saves against Scioto. With defenders Elizabeth Racher, Sarah Story and Maria Swearingen and defensive midfielder Amanda Harbrecht leading the way, the Eagles had allowed only two goals through 17 games.
"Our defense has been our strength," Baird said. "And our goalie has done an amazing job. She volunteered to switch from defense to goal (this season) because we didn't have anyone ready to play the position for varsity, and I'm grateful beyond belief because she's made some incredible saves for us in big games."
Last season, Watterson lost to eventual state champion Thomas 2-1 in overtime in a district final. The Eagles beat the Cardinals 1-0 on Oct. 3 and defeated Bexley 1-0 on Oct. 8.
"We've got to play well as a team because we don't have a standout who can carry us by themselves," Baird said. "We've got to continue scoring well in the tournament, too. We do have girls who are capable of scoring. Emily Engert, Alessandra Margello, Leah Delp and Katie Santanello are leading us offensively and Stephanie Polletta is playing well in the center midfield."
The Eagles lost their starting right midfielder, freshman Abby Marshall, for the remainder of the season when she was diagnosed with a broken hip after the game against Scioto. According to Baird, Molly Racher and Jen Buening will fill the position.
"That's a big loss and we'll need everyone to pull together to help replace Abby," Baird said. "My five seniors (Engert, Harbrecht, Margello, Story and Elizabeth Racher) are playing good hockey right now and they're the key to our success in this tournament. They will need to play the team games of their lives for us to win district because Dublin Coffman, Thomas Worthington and Bexley have strong teams."
Girls golfers finish in top 20 at state
Senior Natalie Meyers and sophomore Erin Harper of the girls golf team both finished in the top 20 in the Division I state tournament held Oct. 19 and 20 at Ohio State's Gray Course.
Meyers shot a 14-over-par 154 over 36 holes to tie Rocky River Magnificat's Jillian Hollis for 14th of 72 golfers, and Harper carded a 158 to tie Emily Jereb of Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin for 19th.
Medina Highland's Jessica Porvasnik won the state title with an even-par 140.
Tennis duo finishes third at state tourney
Lauren Ghidotti and Katie Sheppard of the girls tennis team went 3-1 and placed third in doubles in the Division I state tournament held Oct. 19 at Ohio State and Elysium Tennis Center and Oct. 20 at Elysium.
Ghidotti and Sheppard opened with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Mayfield's Mitsuki Fukamachi and Jamie Vizelman and defeated West Chester Lakota West's Tori Turner and Nicole Soutar 6-4, 6-1 later on the first day.
On the second day, Ghidotti and Sheppard lost to Jerome's Emma Stein and Sarah Stein 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7) in a semifinal before beating Jerome's Ellee Bullock and Caitlyn Merzbacher 7-5, 6-3 in the third-place match.
Last season, Ghidotti and Sheppard lost to Jerome's Lauren Bellinger and Sarah Stein 0-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) in the state final.
Girls soccer team wins tourney opener
The girls soccer team opened the Division I district tournament Oct. 18 with a 13-0 win over visiting Logan.
"We played the ball back a lot and played a lot of our younger players to try to take it easy on them once we had a lead," assistant coach Gene DeWeese said.
Ellie Ganz scored four goals against Logan, including the Eagles' first two. She had missed six games because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in her left knee and wasn't sure if she would play against Logan after aggravating her injury during a 3-1 loss to Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit on Oct. 13.
"I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to play the first few games of the tournament, but this ended up being the first game where I've felt 100 percent healthy since I hurt myself," Ganz said. "I don't think I've ever scored this many goals in one game before. This is something I'll never forget."
Polly Sellers had three goals against Logan and Kaela Thompson, Christie Currie, Abby Demboski, Allie Demboski, Anita Ferguson and Brittany Maisano each scored one.
Seeded fifth, the Eagles were 11-5 before playing Olentangy in a district semifinal Oct. 23. The winner will face fourth-seeded Hilliard Davidson or Thomas Worthington in a district final Saturday, Oct. 27, at Canal Winchester.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal, where it will play Grove City, Jerome, Olentangy Liberty or Worthington Kilbourne on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at a site to be determined.
Last season, Watterson captured its first district championship since 2008, upsetting sixth-seeded Scioto 1-0 (3-2 on penalty kicks) in a district final before losing to Coffman 2-0 in a regional semifinal.
"I think winning a district title is within reach because we're playing well and we have a lot of confidence this year," Maisano said. "We need to finish our chances and everyone on our team needs to play like it's their last game."
Boys runners win district championship
The boys cross country team scored 51 points to win the eight-team Division II, district 2 meet Oct. 20 at Watkins Memorial ahead of runner-up Buckeye Valley (58).
Sam Kayuha paced the Eagles, placing fourth in 17 minutes, 54.55 seconds. Also competing were Alex Pratt (sixth, 17:57.53), Mark Guza (10th, 18:04.63), Max McClelland (13th, 18:14.46), Mark Widerschein (22nd, 19:20.05), Jordan Lucki (23rd, 19:22.49) and Eddie Passen (27th, 19:50.52).
The top four teams and top 16 individuals qualified for the regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Troy. The top four teams and top 16 individuals at regional advance to the state meet Nov. 3 at National Trail Raceway.
"For the boys, we were hoping to come in and win it," coach Matt McGowan said. "We won it (in 2009) when we had one kid who was sixth for us today. We didn't run as well as I'd have liked. We had four guys in the top 13 and our fifth guy was back a bit. Buckeye Valley gave us a bit of a gift because one of their top kids dropped out. You never know what's going to happen, especially with weather like this. It's nice to take home a district championship, and with four kids making all-district, that's great."
"We hope to run better next week. That's the nice thing about advancing. We can look at what we did this week and improve on it."
The girls team scored 247 points to place eighth in the 14-team Division I, district 1 meet behind regional-qualifiers Davidson (35), New Albany (84), Westerville North (98), Teays Valley (103) and Pickerington Central (135).
The top five teams and top 20 individuals advanced to the regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pickerington North.
Competing for the Eagles were Heidi Hetterscheidt (38th, 21:45.59), Claire DiOrio (48th, 22:15.7), Alisa Noll (50th, 22:18.64), Abbie McClellan (55th, 22:33.42), Kaleigh O'Reilly, (56th, 22:42.5), Clare Aman (58th, 22:46.42) and Hanna Merklin (82nd, 23:38.47).
The Eagles' top runner, Jessica Passwater, was a late scratch because of a foot injury.
"If we had her as our top girl, it'd really have helped our team," McGowan said. "We hoped we could sneak out as a team, but we just hope (Jessica) will be back next year."
Football team takes step toward playoffs
The football team is expected to earn a Division III, Region 10 playoff berth if it beats visiting Jonathan Alder on Friday, Oct. 26.
The Pioneers, who beat the Eagles 27-14 in the regular-season finale a year ago to help keep Watterson out of the playoffs, defeated Marion Harding 44-12 on Oct. 19 to improve to 4-4.
Jonathan Alder's losses have come against teams with a combined 30-5 record. The Pioneers could make the Division III, Region 12 playoffs by beating Watterson and getting help from other teams.
The Eagles captured the CCL-Silver Division championship with a 21-17 win over St. Charles on Oct. 19. Watterson trailed 17-14 when St. Charles' John Colosimo made a 28-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter, but running back DeAndre Golden scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on a 7-yard run midway through the final quarter.
Quarterback Andy Elberson rushed 20 times for 96 yards and one touchdown, running back Walter Green had 19 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown and Golden had seven carries for 31 yards and a score.
The only common opponent between Watterson and Jonathan Alder this season is Cincinnati Winton Woods. The Eagles lost to Winton Woods 21-14 on Sept. 14 and the Pioneers fell 35-14 on Sept. 28.
Among the key offensive players for Jonathan Alder are quarterback Andy Fooce and running back Derritt Potts.