The first goal of the Dublin Jerome High School boys soccer team is to win a third consecutive OCC-Cardinal Division championship.

The first goal of the Dublin Jerome High School boys soccer team is to win a third consecutive OCC-Cardinal Division championship.

The Celtics, however, have even higher expectations as the postseason approaches.

Jerome entered its game against Marysville last Tuesday at 5-3-2 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal. The Celtics close league play against Dublin Scioto on Tuesday and Westerville Central on Oct. 12.

Central was second in the OCC-Cardinal at 3-0-1 before last Tuesday.

"What we're trying to do is go for a three-peat this year," senior goalkeeper Jacob Lipps said. "We're hoping to go undefeated again (in the OCC-Cardinal). That's really our main goal from here on out."

Coach Nate Maust has put together a challenging schedule, as evident by his team's three losses. The Celtics lost to defending Division I state champion Gahanna 2-1 on Sept. 23. The Lions led 2-0 in the second half before Matt Stephens scored. Jerome threatened to score again in the closing minutes but could not tie the score.

"We're definitely looking forward to seeing them late in the (district) tournament," Lipps said. "We're hoping to do even better next time. We want to pull out a win. We know they're definitely beatable, and I think we can get them."

The Celtics' other losses came against Cleveland St. Ignatius (3-0 on Sept. 11) and Upper Arlington (1-0 on Sept. 9). St. Ignatius was ranked second behind Gahanna in the Division I state poll. The Wildcats reached the state final last season before falling to the Lions 1-0 in a shootout.

"We've played a really tough schedule this year," senior midfielder Brock Taylor said. "That's to prepare us for the postseason, so hopefully once we get there we'll be able to play under pressure and get through."

The Celtics were ranked third in the area coaches poll last week, behind Gahanna and Thomas Worthington.

"Our losses tell you how tough our schedule is," Maust said. "We were in all three of those games. If for some reason it bodes us well for the tournament, that's what we want. If we make it as far as we want to, we'll see Gahanna again."

Taylor, who missed last season because of a knee injury sustained in the preseason, has returned to lead the Celtics.

In 2008, he played a key role in the team's march to a state semifinal.

"My sophomore year, we had a great year, we went to the state semis and last season I was pretty pumped to play, but I tore my ACL and MCL," Taylor said. "It was a big blow. I was the captain of the team last year as a junior and we were going to be pretty good. It kind of hurt the team, so it's great to be back on the field and play with these guys. I love all these guys and we really play well together. I think we have a chance this year."

Last season, the Celtics finished 11-8-1 overall, falling to Olentangy Orange 3-2 in overtime in a regional semifinal.

If Jerome expects to have success in the postseason this year, it will need a continued strong effort from Lipps.

"I think I'm playing really well," Lipps said. "There are a couple things that I can work on tactically, but come postseason I'm going to be solid."


At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Coffman, Jerome and Scioto boys and girls soccer teams:

COFFMAN BOYS

*Sept. 21 - Tied Hilliard Darby at 3

*Last Tuesday - Played Hilliard Davidson

Saturday - At Lakewood St. Edward

*Tuesday - At Worthington Kilbourne

Of note: The Shamrocks were 5-2-3 overall and 2-1-1 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

COFFMAN GIRLS

*Sept. 21 - Defeated Hilliard Darby 5-1

Last Saturday - Lost to Carmel (Ind.) 3-1

*Last Tuesday - Played Hilliard Davidson

Today - Home vs. Westerville Central

*Tuesday - Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne

Of note: The Shamrocks were 7-1-2 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Central before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Central game

JEROME BOYS

*Sept. 21 - Defeated Olentangy 4-2

Sept. 23 - Lost to Gahanna 2-1

*Last Tuesday - Played Marysville

Today - At Hilliard Davidson

*Tuesday - Home vs. Scioto

Of note: The Celtics were 5-3-2 overall and 4-0 in OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

JEROME GIRLS

*Sept. 21 - Def. Olentangy 3-1. Katherine McCoy, Carli Pimm and Jessica Sabers scored.

Sept. 23 - Tied Gahanna at 1. Courtney Kobashigawa scored.

*Last Tuesday - Played Marysville

Today - Home vs. Watterson

*Tuesday - At Scioto

Of note: The Celtics were 4-4-2 overall and 3-1 in OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game

SCIOTO BOYS

*Sept. 21 - Lost to Westerville Central 2-0

Last Saturday - Defeated Athens 3-0

*Last Tuesday - Played Olentangy Liberty

Today - Home vs. Clayton Northmont

*Tuesday - At Jerome

Of note: The Irish were 2-6-2 overall and 0-2-2 in OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

SCIOTO GIRLS

*Last Tuesday - Tied Westerville Central at 2

Sept. 23 - Def. Ready 4-0

Last Saturday - Def. Athens 9-1

*Last Tuesday - Played Olentangy Liberty

Saturday - Home vs. Springfield Greenon

*Tuesday - Home vs. Jerome

Of note: The Irish were 10-0-1 overall and 3-0-1 in OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game