Defense has been a staple of the Dublin Jerome High School boys soccer program since its inception.

Defense has been a staple of the Dublin Jerome High School boys soccer program since its inception.


The top-seeded Celtics entered last Saturday's Division I district final against Westerville Central with 13 shutouts this season, including two in their first two postseason games.


That's why it was a little surprising that the contest turned into an offensive shootout won by Jerome 3-2 at Grove City Christian.


"A win is a win," said coach Nathan Maust, whose team had beaten ninth-seeded St. Charles 1-0 in a district semifinal three days earlier and improved to 15-1-3. "Obviously, we've had a lot of shutouts this year. We've kept the ball out of our goal. It was a 1-1 game for most of the game. I knew something was going to break in the second half. Either they were going to put a quick one in or we were going to get one in. We dominated on their end of the field. We had quite a few chances."


Central finished 6-10-3.


The Celtics advanced to a regional semifinal last Tuesday against Coffman.


"Any game is tough now, especially once you get to the district and beyond," Maust said. "Any central Ohio team can win on any given night. It's going to be a battle to get out and get to that state final week."


"Everything is a life lesson," Maust said of the district final. "They realized that the season could end with Central. You have to take care of business a little bit better. They were very excited. There was a pretty good celebration at the end.


Senior Brian McGue scored all three goals for Jerome, including a pair in the second half.


"It was a very fun game to play," McGue said. "It was very physical. It was just a great game all around."


It is Jerome's third Division I district title in four years.